Sydney, Jan 28 : The mastermind behind 1999's failed republican referendum has said that the Australians would completely vote out the monarchy only after the death or abdication of the Queen.
On the Australia Day holiday, the current Opposition treasury spokesman, Malcolm Turnbull, said that the Queen's bidding adieu to the throne would be a "watershed event that would galvanise the population" to think about what type of head of state they wanted.
"I said at the time of the 1999 referendum that if we voted 'no' it would mean 'no' for a very long time," smh.com.au quoted Mr Turnbull as telling ABC radio.
When asked about the possible timing of a new vote, he said that, it'd only be after the end of the Queen's reign.
"My own judgment is that the next time when you would have your best prospects is at the end of the Queen's reign - when she dies or when she abdicates. We have got to have a very serious discussion about what we want our head of state to do," he said.
The former head of the Australian Republican Movement, said that "timing is everything" when it comes to referenda.
"To get the issue on the frontburner, I think you need an event, and the obvious event is when the Queen's reign comes to an end," he said.
Turnbull also said that the Queen, as a constitutional monarch, would not consider the prospect of an Australian republic, and this decision remains the prerogative of the Australian people.
Still, the Australian support for the 83-year-old occupant of Buckingham Palace remains a "significant factor".
"There is enormous respect and love and affection for the Queen. She has been part of almost everybody's lives, all their lives ... the vast majority of Australians have never known another [monarch]," he said.