You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Christensen wants to do away with PM

AAP logoAAP 15/12/2016

Outspoken government MP George Christensen wants to do away with the prime minister - the position that it is, not Malcolm Turnbull.

The Nationals backbencher is the latest to support a push for Australia to become a republic.

Mr Christensen is among a growing number of federal MPs - a majority - which support an Australian head of state, according to the Australian Republican Movement.

On the eve of the movement's 25th anniversary dinner, to be attended by Mr Turnbull, it has released figures showing 81 lower house MPs and 40 senators back the cause.

Mr Turnbull - who once led the ARM - isn't alone around the cabinet table on the issue, with the likes of Julie Bishop, Christopher Pyne, Marise Payne, Josh Frydenberg and Simon Birmingham named as supporters of an Australian head of state.

Mr Christensen also agrees with the push, but with conditions.

He wants the head of state to be elected by the people, with a clear separation of powers between the head of government and the parliamentary arm of government.

It could be done by doing away with the notion of having a prime minister, he said.

"I am not interested in change for change's sake," Mr Christensen wrote in a statement on Friday.

"But I am interested in improving our system of government to give more power to the people we serve."

Mr Turnbull will address the movement at an event at Sydney University on Saturday night.

"Malcolm Turnbull has a unique chance to put the republican cause firmly back at the centre of the national agenda," the group's chair Peter FitzSimons said on Friday.

The Australian Monarchist League hit back, dismissing the republican movement's claims as exaggerated.

The league's national chair Philip Benwell was surprised to see Mr Christensen being used as an example.

"We are, of course, well aware of his anti-Westminster stance which he believes can only be achieved under a republic, but not the sort of republic that 99.9999 per cent of Australians would ever possibly want to contemplate," he said.

The group says Mr Turnbull is making a grave error by accepting an invitation to speak at Saturday's function.

"Surely he has better things to do with his time than revisiting his pet project of a republic that was rejected by the referendum of seventeen years ago," Mr Benwell said.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon