PUSHING: Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
PUSHING: Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. MICK Tsikasaap

Nation 'not ready' for republic vote

PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull has stressed the need for a major campaign to prepare voters for a referendum on a republic.

In the wake of news this week that all state and territory leaders supported Australia becoming a republic, Mr Turnbull said there needed to be "strong popular momentum for a change".

"There are many more urgent issues confronting Australia and indeed confronting the government than the momentum or the desire for Australia to become a republic," he said.

"There needs to be the right timing."

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten urged Mr Turnbull yesterday to join forces to make Australia a republic.

The Australian Republican Movement has called for a referendum by 2020, but advocates a non-binding plebiscite to gauge the community's support before heading to a proper vote.

Former Army chief David Morrison said he would use his time as Australian of the Year to push for a republic.


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