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Next Governor-General defends his appointment


Incoming Governor-General David Hurley hopes Australians can look past his military uniform and be more open-minded about what he can bring to the role.

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The current NSW Governor will replace Sir Peter Cosgrove when his five-year commission ends in June, the prime minister announced on Sunday.

But his appointment has already attracted criticism, as a white male with a military background.

The former defence force chief, however, is unsurprised by the response.

“All I can say is I am what I am,” he told Nine’s Today Show today.

Hurley, who became the NSW Governor in 2014 after 42 years of service in the Australian Army, urged Australians to look past the military stereotype and judge him on his track record.

He said he didn’t choose to be a general, a Governor or a Governor-General.

“I have been asked to do those roles and if you look at what I have tried to do in the defence force, for women, for opening up positions and so forth, and how I have approached my role here as Governor, I don’t think I have been the military stereotype,” he said.

“I’m not the military stereotype and I think people should just be a bit more open-minded about it.”

Scott Morrison on Sunday said Hurley was his first and only choice.

Finding a former military figure was also a priority, he said, calling himself a “traditionalist”.

“General Hurley is known for looking people straight in the eye. Not up and not down. He was that way with those he led in the military and he’s been that way as a Governor and throughout his life, ” he said.

The Governor-General is appointed by the Queen in Commonwealth countries, on the advice of the prime minister, to be the representative of the Crown.

Cosgrove was to retire in March but, at the request of Hurley, agreed to stay on until June to ensure NSW has an experienced Governor for its state election.

Labor has warned NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian that her pick to replace Hurley may not be honoured if announced before the March state poll.


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