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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 278

Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:01): As the first reigning monarch to visit this nation, Queen Elizabeth II owns a special place in Australian history and, indeed, in the affections of many Australians. For many of us, as the Prime Minister has said, she is the only British monarch we have ever known. Every time the Queen and Prince Philip have visited Australia they have spoken warmly and, indeed, been welcomed warmly in return, from small towns to our big cities. Even staunch republicans cannot help but admire the dedication to public duty that the Queen has shown, the life of service that she has led. She has seen much change. In her time there have been 14 prime ministers, so far, in her reign. As colonies become countries and as the Commonwealth of nations has evolved and matured, the Queen has greeted each change with grace. I have every confidence that she will show the same respect and the same generosity when Australia becomes a republic.