MALCOLM TURNBULL: ‘When the time is right’ there will be a referendum on the republic

Photo: Mark Metcalfe/ Getty Images.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has hinted that a referendum on a republic could be on the cards following the July election.

In a radio interview this morning, Turnbull, who prior to becoming prime minister led the movement to become a republic, said it would happen “when the time is right”.

“As far as the Republic is concerned, I am a very committed Republican and when the time is right and the Australian people feel that this is an issue that should be addressed, then I am sure there will be a referendum and I will be voting yes for it,” he told 5AA host David Penberthy.

Turnbull also said that when the same-sex marriage vote came around, he would be voting “yes” for it too.

“So you don’t have to worry about my views on those issues, they are very strong and very consistent. Now I can tell you the issue that is in most Australians’ minds and is in my mind overwhelmingly right now is jobs and growth.”

Earlier this year, Turnbull was seen as turning on his beliefs after saying that he thought it would not be right for Australia to become a republic while Queen Elizabeth is still the head of the Commonwealth.

“I’ve led a ‘yes’ case for a republic into a ­heroic defeat once. I’ve got no ­desire to do so again,” he said.

“If you don’t want to have ­another heroic defeat and you want it to be carried, the best time to do that will be after the end of the Queen’s reign.”

At that time he said a future referendum would need to have grassroots support to be successful.

“It is not something that a government can just do, even if it wanted to.”

Turnbull was the leader of the ­failed Republican movement’s referendum bid of 1999.

Upon losing the bid, Turnbull said the monarchist PM of the time John Howard had “broken our hearts”.