Australian lawmakers paid tribute on Friday to Queen Elizabeth II, with some also weighing in on the debate over the republic, after returning to parliament after pausing to observe the queen’s death.
An obscure and long-standing protocol in Australia bans parliament from sitting for 15 days after the death of a British monarch.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese decided to follow protocol. Albanese has previously said he wants an Australian president to replace the British monarch as the country’s head of state, although he has avoided getting involved in the republic debate since the Queen’s death.
Every chamber of Australia’s parliament – the Senate and the House – was spending Friday passing condolences for the late monarch, as well as congratulating King Charles III on his accession to the throne.
Albanese said it was difficult to understand that the queen was now just a memory after her seven-decade reign.
“She was a rare and comforting constant in the midst of rapid change,” said Albanese.
Elizabeth visited Australia 16 times during her reign.
“She met us, appreciated us, hugged us, and the feeling was very mutual,” said Albanese.
The prime minister offered his condolences to King Charles III.
“We think of King Charles, who feels the weight of that sadness as he takes on the weight of the crown,” Albanese said. “At the dawn of his reign, we wish his majesty well.”
Opposition leader Peter Dutton said Australians enjoyed the wisdom of the queen’s words and the comfort of her voice.
“She admired that Australian quality of honoring those who go about their essential business without fuss or media attention,” Dutton said. adoration of her.”
Adam Bandt, leader of the Australian Greens’ small party, expressed his condolences but reiterated his support for Australia becoming a republic.
“The death of the queen means that we will have a new head of state with nothing to say on the matter. It is absolutely the appropriate time to speak respectfully about whether this is right for us as a country,” he said.
“We can offer our condolences to those grieving her personally, while also speaking respectfully about what this means for us as a people.”
Green Senator Sarah Hanson-Young offered condolences, but also spoke about the need for reconciliation with Australia’s Indigenous People.
“She did not remove children from their parents, nor did she personally attempt to remove and decimate one of the oldest cultures in the world,” Hanson-Young told the Senate. ”(But) she was the government representative in the institution she made. Generations of oppression, trauma and suffering as a result of colonization must be considered.”
British High Commissioner Vicki Treadell was in parliament to hear the tributes.
Source : www.independent.co.uk