June 24, 2019

Australia appoints GG

David and Linda Hurley – Picture by Office of the Governor of NSW.

14 December 2018, Commonwealth of Australia: Prime Minister Scott Morrison named a distinguished military leader as the country’s upcoming governor general, who represents Australia’s monarch Queen Elizabeth II, the country’s nominal head of state, ahead of an election to be held in May 2019.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Sunday that General David Hurley, former Australian Defence Force chief and current governor of the state of New South Wales, has been appointed to the high office. General Hurley (65) had a 42-year military career in the Australian Army culminating in his appointment as Chief of the Defence Force in 2011.

The largely symbolic governor-general’s role has extensive though little-used executive powers. In principle, the Governor-General is commander in chief of the armed forces, appoints ambassadors ministers and judges, gives royal assent to legislation and issues writs to call elections on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II.

The current governor-general, General Sir Peter Cosgrove, is due to finish his five-year term in March 2019.

Prime Minister Morrison both appointed General Hurley and simultaneously extended General Cosgrove’s term until after the federal election, allowing Hurley to conclude his duties as state governor of New South Wales as well, which has also has an election in March.

Australia is a constitutional monarchy. The prime minister is Australia’s head of government, yet formally reports on many matters to the Queen’s representative.

The governor general almost always acts on the advice of the prime minister and parliament, but can also dissolve parliament and has done so in the past.
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