Greens leader Adam Bandt has waited just five hours after The Queen’s death was announced to call for Australia to ‘move forward’ and become a republic.
The staunch republican, who refuses to put the Australian flag with its Union Jack corner behind him at press conferences, posted a brief tweet at 8.27am.
‘Rest In Peace Queen Elizabeth II. Our thoughts are with her family and all who loved her,’ he began – his entire condolence statement.
‘Now Australia must move forward. We need Treaty with First Nations people, and we need to become a Republic.’
Greens leader Adam Bandt has waited just five hours after The Queen’s death was announced to call for Australia to ‘move forward’ and become a republic
The Queen’s death was announced at 3.30am AEST and Australian morning TV shows announced the news an hour later, followed by a statement by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at 4.47am.
Former deputy chief medical officer Nick Coatsworth said Mr Bandt’s post showed a reason why the Greens were a minor party.
‘Just quietly compare this with the statesmanlike words from Albanese and Dutton and reflect on why these guys are perpetually at 10%. Have some respect, son,’ he said.
Mr Bandt frequently calls for an Australian republic, believing the country needs its own head of state and the royals are too closely tied to colonialism.
He used the departure of Harry and Meghan from the Royal Family to say if they could ‘cut ties’ with them ‘we can too’.
His deputy, Senator Mehreen Faruqi, was even less respectful in her own tweet, and also took the opportunity to demand reparations for indigenous people.
‘I cannot mourn the leader of a racist empire built on stolen lives, land and wealth of colonised peoples,’ she wrote.
‘We are reminded of the urgency of treaty with First Nations, justice and reparations for British colonies and becoming a republic.’
The Queen’s death was announced about 3.30am and Adam Bandt posted his tweet at 8.27am
She said last year: ‘The royals preside over an empire that has enslaved millions of black and brown people around the world. Their racism and colonialism continues.
‘If we’re truly interested in the tackling racism in our country, we need to break ties with the royals.’
Mr Bandt also backed up controversial indigenous Greens senator Lidia Thorpe who called The Queen a ‘coloniser’ when swearing her oath of office.
‘I sovereign, Lidia Thorpe, do solemnly and sincerely swear that I will be faithful and I bear allegiance to the colonising Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,’ she said.
Senator Thorpe was reprimanded and, smirking, eventually recited the oath correctly and was sworn into parliament.
‘Senator Thorpe, Senator Thorpe, you are required to recite the oath as printed on the card,’ said the chamber’s president Sue Lines.
Mr Bandt also backed up controversial indigenous Greens senator Lidia Thorpe who called The Queen a ‘coloniser’ when swearing her oath of office
After reciting the pledge as required, Thorpe declared on Twitter: ‘Sovereignty never ceded.’
Mr Albanese is also a republican and appointed a minister for the republic to eventually explore breaking Australia with the monarchy – but not the Commonwealth.
The Australian Republican Movement was more restrained in its response to The Queen’s death, only making a veiled reference.
‘The Queen backed the right of Australians to become a fully independent nation during the referendum on an Australian republic in 1999, saying that she has “always made it clear that the future of the Monarchy in Australia is an issue for the Australian people and them alone to decide, by democratic and constitutional means”,’ it said.
In 1999, Australians narrowly voted against removing the queen, amid a row over whether her replacement would be chosen by members of parliament, not the public.
Polls show most Australians are in favour of being a republic, but there is little agreement on how a head of state should be chosen.