Australia

Former defence force chief David Hurley named Australia’s next governor-general

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Australia's next governor-general, the chief representative of the Crown in a commonwealth country has been announced.

NSW Governor and former Australian Defence Force General David Hurley has been named as the country's next Governor-General.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison made the announcement on Sunday morning, ahead of current Governor-General Peter Cosgrove finishing his commission in March.

Former defence force chief David Hurley has been named Australia’s next governor-general.
Former defence force chief David Hurley has been named Australia’s next governor-general.
AAP

The announcement comes despite Labor having urged the government to extend Sir Peter's post so the next government can make the appointment.

Sir Peter has served as governor-general since March 2014, following on from Dame Quentin Bryce's near six-year stint.

PM Scott Morrison said he only had one choice for the  job.
PM Scott Morrison said he only had one choice for the job.
ABC

"I had only one choice, my first choice," Mr Morrison, announcing the pick at Parliament House.

"General Hurley is known for looking people straight in the eye - not up and down.

"I’m very pleased he takes on those great Australian values of someone can bring people together."

Paul Fletcher MP (left) shakes hands with Australian Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove as he's sworn into office.
Paul Fletcher MP (left) shakes hands with Australian Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove as he's sworn into office.
AAP

“I’m very humbled and proud,” General Hurley told reporters.

The former head of the Australian Defence Force joined the Australian Army in 1972 and spent 42 years in uniform, before being appointed NSW governor in October 2014. 

Mr Morrison in October downplayed earlier speculation that former defence chief Sir Angus Houston was in the running for the job.

General David Hurley with his family (l to r) daugher Caitlin Orr, wife Linda Hurley, daughter Amelia Hurley and son Marcus Hurley.
General David Hurley with his family (l to r) daugher Caitlin Orr, wife Linda Hurley, daughter Amelia Hurley and son Marcus Hurley.
AAP

Sir Angus retired in 2011 after 41 years with the military.

Former foreign minister Julie Bishop was another person linked to the post, shortly after her failed bid for the Liberal leadership in August - following Malcolm Turnbull's toppling.

NSW Governor David Hurley.
NSW Governor David Hurley.
AAP

But the Western Australian MP has since confirmed she will recontest the next election and has not ruled out running for the leadership again in the future.

The Australian Republic Movement has called the selection a "captain's pick".

"Australians should have had more say about who will be the next – and, we hope, last – Governor-General appointed by a British monarch to represent him or her in Australia," national director Michael Cooney said.

"It’s bad enough that Prime Minister Morrison had to ask a British monarch for permission to announce David Hurley as her representative in Australia.

"What’s worse is he did not have to ask any of us."

AUSTRALIA'S 26 GOVERNORS-GENERAL SINCE 1901

General Sir Peter Cosgrove (2014 - March 2019)

Dame Quentin Bryce (2008 - 2014)

Major General Michael Jeffrey (2003 - 2008)

Right Reverend Dr Peter Hollingworth (2001 - 2003)

Sir William Patrick Deane (1996 - 2001)

William George Hayden (1989 - 1996)

Sir Ninian Stephen (1982 - 1989)

Sir Zelman Cowen (1977 - 1982)

Sir John Robert Kerr (1974 - 1977)

Sir Paul Meernaa Caedwalla Hasluck (1969 - 1974)

Richard Gardiner Casey, Baron Casey (1965 - 1969)

William Philip Sidney De L'Isle, 1st Viscount De L'Isle (1961 - 1965)

William Shepherd Morrison, 1st Viscount Dunrossil (1960 - 1961)

Field Marshal Sir William Joseph Slim, 1st Viscount Slim (1953 - 1960)

Sir William John McKell (1947 - 1953)

HRH Prince Henry William Frederick Albert, Duke of Gloucester (1945 - 1947)

Brigadier General Alexander Gore Arkwright Hore Ruthven, 1st Baron Gowrie (1936 - 1945)

Sir Isaac Alfred Isaacs (1931 - 1936)

John Lawrence Baird, 1st Baron Stonehaven (1925 - 1931)

Henry William Forster, 1st Baron Forster (1920 - 1925)

Sir Ronald Craufurd Munro-Ferguson, 1st Baron Forster (1914 - 1920)

Thomas Denman, 3rd Baron Denman (1911 - 1914)

William Humble Ward, 2nd Earl of Dudley (1908 - 1911)

Henry Stafford Northcote, 1st Baron Northcote (1904 - 1908)

Hallam Tennyson, 2nd Baron Tennyson (1903 - 1904)

John Adrian Louis Hope, 7th Earl of Hopetoun (1901 - 1903)

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