Australia

PM hails 'affable' departing G-G Sir Peter

Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove... (AAP)

Scott Morrison has praised Sir Peter Cosgrove as one of Australia's most affable governor-generals, as his five-year term as head of state comes to an end.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has wished outgoing Governor-General Peter Cosgrove a happy and "uninterrupted" retirement, almost 15 years after he first sought to bow out of public service.

Sir Peter is stepping down as governor-general on Sunday, with former NSW governor David Hurley taking his place.

Mr Morrison says the step marks the end of a lifetime of public service for the 2001 Australian of the Year, who began an army career in 1965 in which led to him becoming defence force chief.

His retirement in 2005 was short-lived when asked to oversee relief and recovery efforts after Cyclone Larry devastated far north Queensland later that year.

Sir Peter went on to serve in various community and business roles before becoming governor-general in 2014.

Since then, he's visited more than 200 local communities around Australia and hosted 25,000 schoolchildren last year at Canberra's Government House along with Lady Cosgrove.

"Australia is grateful for their commitment to our country over a lifetime," Mr Morrison said.

"Jen and I wish them a long, happy and uninterrupted retirement."

Sir Peter is one of the most approachable governor-general's to date, Mr Morrison said.

"Australians from all walks of life felt like they knew this governor-general.

"It didn't matter if it was a palace or a pub, Sir Peter would shake your hand, look you in the eye and start a conversation."

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