Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) President, Linda Scott has expressed her deepest sympathies on behalf of the nation’s 537 local governments following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away overnight aged 96.
“I extend my deepest sympathies to all members of the Royal family,” President Scott said in a statement this morning.
“As the first reigning monarch to visit our nation, Queen Elizabeth set foot in City of Sydney in 1954 where more than one million people greeted her,” she said.
She officially opened the Parliament of New South Wales in 1954, Sydney Opera House in 1973 and Darling Harbour in 1988.
“We offer thanks for a lifetime of public duty to the Crown, the Commonwealth, and to millions of people across the globe,” said President Scott.
She said local governments will work with the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments to mark observances of her passing.
Her Majesty’s death was announced at 3.30am (6.30pm London time) today. Family members had rushed to Balmoral Castle, Scotland, earlier in the day after doctors expressed concern about her declining health.
In a statement, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
Her passing will see Britain enter a 10-day mourning period. The public will be given an opportunity to pay their respects, with her casket to be taken to London where she will lie in state in Westminster Hall in the Houses of Parliament for four days.
Prince Charles, who will now reign as King Charles III, released a statement this morning.
“The death of my beloved mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family.”
“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.
“During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which the Queen was so widely held.”
She is being fondly remembered by Mayors and Councillors across Australia today.
Kiama Mayor Neil Reilly expressed his sadness this morning at the news of her passing.
“Queen Elizabeth’s coronation was just a few days before my birth. Her image graced the walls of my schools, my scout halls, my army barracks and our council chamber. In one way or another, all my life she was there. Her hard work, her love for Australia and our people was inspirational. I was genuinely and deeply saddened to learn of her passing,” Mayor Reilly said.
“We welcome the ascension of King Charles III to the throne.”
As a mark of mourning and respect and in accordance with protocol, flags will be flown at half-mast outside Council Chambers and at Blue Haven, he said.
AlburyCity Council Mayor, Kylie King said the Albury community was saddened to hear of the passing of Her Majesty.
“We fondly remember Her Majesty and Prince Phillip’s visit to Albury in 1988, parading at the Albury Sports Ground to the cheers of thousands of school children and community members,” the Mayor said.
“During the visit, Her Majesty also opened QEII Square in the heart of our CBD, and boarded the paddle steamer, P.S. Cumberoona to enjoy our wonderful Murray River.
“Rest in peace.”