Australia's Gillard backs republic after Queen's death





Australia should become a republic when Queen Elizabeth II dies, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said just days ahead of a general election.

Welsh-born Ms Gillard said the Queen's death would be an "appropriate point" for Australia to move away from having a British monarch as head of state.

Australians voted against becoming a republic in a 1999 referendum, but the issue continues to be divisive.

Ms Gillard's main opponent, Tony Abbott, is a staunch monarchist.

Up until now the question of an Australian republic has hardly featured in this election campaign.

The BBC's Nick Bryant in Sydney says even in this strongly patriotic country it is not considered an urgent national priority and Julia Gillard has indicated it won't become one for her Labor government while the Queen is on the throne....



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