Republic debate returns after region rejects 1999 change
THE Australian Republic Movement hopes a groundswell of support this year will see the issue become "impossible to ignore”, forcing political leaders to put the issue on the national agenda.
In 2015 the movement was reinvigorated with a passionate address at the National Press Club by author, former Wallaby and republican chair Peter FitzSimons.
His speech marked the first significant return of republicanism to the national discourse since the 1999 referendum.
The vote - whether Australia should become a republic - was emphatically rejected by Ipswich electors.
In the federal electorate of Blair, the no case won 74.64 per cent of the vote compared to 25.36 per cent of people who voted yes.
In the electorate of Oxley, results were slightly closer with 65.43 per cent of people voting no and 34.57 per cent selecting yes.
Queensland had the highest no vote in the nation at 62.56 per cent.
Only the electorates of Ryan and Brisbane voted yes.
Mr FitzSimons said it was time for another debate.
"I actually think the idea that, 250 years after Captain Cook landed, Australians coming together to work out the final step to true independence under the Southern Cross - as enjoyed by the first peoples - could be a wonderfully unifying exercise, and precisely what we need,” he said.