Boost for Keating republic campaign

The Queen could be removed as Australia's head of state with little impact on the country's system of government, according to a report handed yesterday to Paul Keating, the Prime Minister, writes Robert Milliken in Sydney.

This conclusion from the Republic Advisory Committee, headed by Malcolm Turnbull, the former Spycatcher lawyer, was what Mr Keating had hoped to hear in his campaign to have Australia abandon the monarchy by 2001. But his political fortunes, and those of the republican cause, have begun to falter. An opinion poll last week showed public support for a republic had fallen to 39 per cent and support for the monarchy had risen to 44 per cent, with 17 per cent undecided.