Melbourne, Apr.23 : Australia's Governor General, Sir Michael Jeffery, does not foresee an Australian republic during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.
Urging republicans to avoid a "big mistake" by ensuring any changes made to Australia's constitutional system, Major General Jeffery said: "If there was to be any change I don't think it would logically happen before Her Majesty the Queen is succeeded."
He told the Australian Associated Press in a pre-summit interview that "I'm not commenting on whether it will change or not. I can honestly say I haven't in my travels around the country felt that there has been a passionate desire for change, people poking you in the chest and saying let's change."
Major General Jeffery, who hands over charge in September to Australia's first female Governor General, Quentin Bryce, said Australia should never shirk from looking at better ways of governing itself.
"That's they key - how can we improve our system of governance?" news.com.au quoted Jeffery, as saying ahead of his visit to Israel.
"What I do emphasise very strongly is that before people can make an informed decision on better ways of governing ourselves - including perhaps whether we go to a republic or not - you've got to have a good understanding of how your present system works, its strengths and weaknesses. Without question our system has worked very well for over 100 years. That's not to say that we can't do better, but we won't do better unless people understand where they have come from if they are looking at where they want to go," he said.
If the Rudd government adopts recommendations from the 2020 summit, a plebiscite or non-binding vote on whether to sever ties with the monarchy would be held, most likely alongside the 2010 federal election.
If Australians voted yes, a referendum to decide on the model would then be held.
"We lost the last referendum nearly 10 years ago," Prime Minister Rudd, a longstanding republican, said this week.
"We don't want to lose the next one so we will be building this one up very carefully."