Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks at an Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony and Flag Raising event in Canberra on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks at an Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony and Flag Raising event in Canberra on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. AAP Image - Mick Tsikas

Major campaign needed before republic referendum: PM

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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