Don't pay so you can read it. Pay so everyone can!

Don't pay so you can read it.
Pay so everyone can!

Albanese may have given kiss of death to governor-general

by Mark Sawyer | Aug 16, 2022 | Lobbyland

The scandal building over the secret appointments by Scott Morrison may cost the Governor-General, David Hurley, his job.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has this morning failed to give an unequivocal endorsement of Hurley’s role in the appointments. This is close to being  the kiss of death for a vice-regal figure in today’s Australia.

”The blame for this lands fairly and squarely with the former government,” Albanese told Radio National’s Patricia Karvelas on Tuesday morning,

But it was what Albanese didn’t say that will have set off alarm bells at Yarralumla. The PM was challenged to blame Hurley for the actions of Morrison. This was Albanese’s chance to offer a ringing endorsement of Hurley personally, but he did not. (There were frequent pauses in the PM’s answers to the questions, but there was also a bad phone line).

Once the governor-general becomes the focus of controversy, his or her position becomes untenable.

On Monday a spokesperson for the Governor-General confirmed that Hurley followed processes consistent with the constitution when he appointed Morrison to the additional portfolios (health, finance, resources).

“It is not uncommon for ministers to be appointed to administer departments other than their portfolio responsibility,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “These appointments do not require a swearing-in ceremony. The governor-general signs an administrative instrument on the advice of the prime minister.”

The spokesperson added that any decision about whether to publicise cabinet appointments was a matter for the government of the day.

This explanation has not taken the focus off Hurley. Since the constitutional crisis of 1975, the GG has sought to keep the office outside the political fray. The harsh reality is that the GG is powerless while in office to blame the government that gave him poor advice.

Things will move quickly today and Australians may be about to lose their 27th governor-general. This would be an injustice to a man with a spotless record, army general and former governor of NSW.

But in an Australia with a jaundiced view of the constitutional monarchy and the clamour for every political act to be conducted with integrity, Hurley has been winged.

There will be crisis talks at Yarralumla today.

Mark Sawyer is a journalist with extensive experience in print and digital media in Sydney, Melbourne and rural Australia.

Don't pay so you can read it. Pay so everyone can!

Don't pay so you can read it.
Pay so everyone can!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This