The Prime Minister should immediately rule out a ‘captain’s call’ on the next Governor-
General.
Media reports speculating that former Foreign Minister Bishop might be considered for the
role and represent the Queen in Canberra reinforce the worst perception that Australia is
in decline from a parliamentary democracy to a spoils system.
Things need to change in Parliament House and it starts with the attitudes and behaviours
of the most senior people.
Choosing the Governor-General should never again be a personal pick of the Prime
Minister.
Australia should draw its leadership from far beyond a handful of any Prime Minister’s
boardroom buddies, retired lawyers, military leaders – and former political colleagues.
Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Indigenous Australians,
and leading contributors to every sector of our society ought to be considered for a role
like this – and for the role of head of state of a future Australian republic.
In June, ARM National Chair Peter FitzSimons wrote to then-Prime Minister Turnbull
proposing that he give Australians a say over the next Governor-General through a vote of
the Parliament or of the people (https://www.republic.org.au/media/2018/6/9/nextgovernor-
general-should-not-be-a-captains-call-republic-movement-call-for-democraticdecision).
We renew that appeal to his successor, Prime Minister Morrison.
You say you are on our side. So let us have a say.
Michael Cooney, ARM National Director and CEO