NOT GIVING UP: Australian Republican Movement national director David Morris.
The republican movement has declared the popularity of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's royal tour is due to its celebrity appeal and it would be “absurd” to suggest the interest represented Australia's support for the monarchy.
Australian Republican Movement national director David Morris said it would be wrong to conclude the public support for the royal tour signaled an end to the republican debate.
“You've had commentators who've drawn the link that because there's been all this outpouring of celebrity interest, therefore people have this particular view of the Australian nation that we should never be a fully independent nation – it's an absurd link to make,” he said.
“There is a genuine affection and interest in the British Royals as celebrities but they do not unite us, they do not have our allegiance, they do not represent us. They represent Britain.
“When all the dust settles and the superficial celebrity coverage of the past week has faded into a distant memory, it might be time for us to have a serious debate about our self-respect and future as a nation.”
Mr Morris said the movement's membership was the strongest it had been since the 1990s. He said polling by the organisation suggested only 20 per cent of Australians said their allegiance was to the Queen.
“The majority of Australians have a real love of this country and an allegiance to this country,” he said.
“The real issue is all those people in the middle who don't have a really strong view because day to day, our life in Australia is very good and this is not a top of mind issue for many Australians.”
Mr Morris also took aim at what he described as the Prime Minister's “monarchist” agenda.
“It's alarming to see Mr Abbott dragging a poor defenceless baby into his colonial agenda,” he said.
“His cabinet is full of many patriotic Australians and people who are strong supporters of Australia being a fully independent nation, Mr Abbott has a personal obsession here and yes it seems to have captured the spin cycle of the past week but these things come and go.
“There is a monarchist agenda at the moment which will take us backwards to restore QC's instead of SC's, to bring back knights and dames and bring back allegiance to the Queen. What will be next - will Mr Abbott be bringing back God Save the Queen?”
Mr Morris said he believed the time would come when Australia had its own head of State.
“The Australia of 1953 considered itself British and white and Anglo and expected that when something happened in Britain, it automatically happened in Australia,” he said.
“When that day comes - when the Queen's reign ends - the Australia of that day, whenever that is in years to come, will not be the Australia of 1953.
“We can't even imagine yet how proud we're going to be on that day and what that's going to say about us as a nation and how we've really grown up.”