Britain's Queen Elizabeth (L) smiles as she accepts flowers and gifts from flag waving children as she arrives at Launceston March 29.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth (L) smiles as she accepts flowers and gifts from flag waving children as she arrives at Launceston March 29. A tomato was thrown towards Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip on Wednesday while they were on a walkabout in the Australian city of Launceston, witnesses said. Reuters/RUS/DL

Australia should become a republic before Queen Elizabeth II passes away, this is according to all but one of the premiers and chief ministers of the country. The Australian Republic Movement claimed the people are ready for a new government free of the British monarchy.

The ABC reports that West Australia Premier Colin Barnett was the only state leader who did not sign the declaration calling for an Australian head of state.

“We, the undersigned premiers and chief ministers of Australia, believe that Australians should have an Australian as our head of state,” the declaration reads. Peter FitzSimons from the movement said the declaration, along with an online petition signed by almost 4,000 people, shows that how much the country wants to become an independent nation. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten also signed for an Australian republic.

“Never before have the stars of the Southern Cross been so aligned in pointing to the dawn of a new republican age for Australia,” FitzSimons said, adding a referendum on the issue is now the next step.

“Let’s, while the Queen of England is young enough to come to Australia, not bow and curtsy but rise in a standing ovation and say, ‘Thank you, your Majesty, for the sterling service you’ve given our nation,’” he continued. “She will give us the key, we’ll take it for a spin around the block and we’ll be on our way.”

According to the Courier Mail, when the declaration was presented to her, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk signed it “in a heartbeat.”

“I firmly believe Australia is ready to have an Australian as our Head of State,” she said, adding that it’s time the country becomes independent.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill agreed, saying, “Any self-respecting independent country would aspire to select one of its own citizens as its head of state.” Australia’s shift to a republic would also have a positive shift in the mindset of the people.

As Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said, Australia is “ready” to stand on its two feet “on paper and in practice.”

FitzSimons will present the declaration of desired independence on Tuesday, Australia Day, and is hoping Turnbull will consider the issue after the next election. The group is lobbying for a plebiscite in 2020.

However, the Australian Monarchist League said the ARM’s petition lacks a widespread public support. National chair Philip Benwell said the current constitution was “based on the Crown which always represents the people,” adding that the petition for an Australian republic is based on the will of politicians.