The defeat of the Voice to Parliament referendum has set back efforts to make Australia a republic, but the prospect is not dead, the minister responsible says.
Assistant Minister for the Republic Matt Thistlethwaite said sending Australians to another referendum was a conversation for “a better time”.
“It’s a question for when Australians aren’t struggling with cost of living,” he told Sky News.
“I said before this referendum that if it was defeated, it would make it harder for the republic and I think that that is the case.”
The last time Australians voted in a referendum before Saturday was in 1999 when the question about becoming a republic was overwhelmingly defeated.
Anthony Albanese is a republican but has always maintained that the Voice to Parliament was his referendum priority for this term of parliament.
On Saturday night, as the Prime Minister expressed his disappointment that the Voice had been defeated, he was asked about the prospect of sending Australians back to the polls to vote on a republic and whether the Voice defeat was “the end of referendums”.
“I made it very clear that this was the only referendum that I was proposing in this term … I made no commitments about any further referendums,” he said.
Mr Thistlethwaite on Thursday said Labor had a “longer-term vision” and having discussions about a republic was integral to where the government wanted Australia to be in a few years time.
“It’s something that I’m passionate about, and I’m not going to give up on my beliefs, but I do say that I think it is an argument and an issue for a time when Australians aren’t struggling with cost-of-living pressures, and that’s something that came through for me during the door knocking I was doing during the Voice referendum,” he said.
“(This defeat) puts it back … Our republic conversation I think is something for a better time when we’re looking at a stronger economy.
“I’m not gonna say it’s off, because as I said, I’m not going to give up on it. I’m very passionate about it, so in my view it is not off, but it does certainly make it a lot more difficult.”
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/breaking-news/matt-thistlethwaite-says-republic-referendum-for-a-time-when-cost-of-living-isnt-priority/news-story/efdc4364f8d5f6364fe194c20f5fa5fe Matt Thistlethwaite says republic referendum delayed, not dead