Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus said in a speech on Sunday, “Times are dark for republicans.”
“Tony Abbott’s full-blooded monarchism might be half a century out of date, but we must not be lulled into complacency,” he said.
“How could any Australian in 2014 honestly argue for the place of the British monarchy in our modern society?”
Dreyfus warned that while the current situation looked bleak for Australia’s republican movement, supporters of the cause should not be resting on their laurels.
Mr Dreyfus’s address to an Australian Republican Movement forum, called Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s re-instatement of knights and dames as absurd claiming the Prime Minister is out of touch with the new multicultural Australia.
Adding that the modern Australia has welcomed migrants from different cultures and closer economic and cultural ties with Australia [than Britain] and this has fundamentally changed the nation.
He stated that the drive for a republic would not renounce the British aspect of the Australian culture, “The British contribution, particularly to our political culture, will remain important forever, but our separation from Britain has accelerated over the last several decades.”
Mr Dreyfus remarked that the challenges faced in successfully forming a republic are substantial: “We cannot be an inevitable cause which nonetheless never succeeds,” he said.
“It is our task now to grasp the nettle and renew the struggle for an Australian republic. It will not be handed to us.” – with AAP