National conversation on republic long overdue: Swan

TREASURER Wayne Swan has renewed the republic debate in a speech in Canberra on Monday.

Mr Swan joined Opposition Communications spokesman Malcolm Turnbull in launching a new book on the republic debate.

He said it was "always the right time to argue for the merits of a republic", and that the national conversation was long overdue.

Mr Swan said there would always be those who ask "If it isn't broken, why fix it?"

"It is a conversation that must be held in a respectful way, in acknowledging that there are strong and long-held views on both sides of the ledger," he said.

"But after a long decade or more of inertia, I believe we're ready as a nation to take this on.

"Is a successful referendum inevitable? I think so and I hope so."

He spoke at the launch of Project Republic, a series of essays arguing for an Australian republic.

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