Queensland Proposal Needs Reconsideration
Written by ACM   
Tuesday, 25 February 2003

February 26, 2003
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by the National Convenor
National Office, Sydney Australia

The proposal by the Premier, Mr. Peter Beattie that Parliament be invited to endorse future appointments of Governors of Queensland needs to be reconsidered, says ACM National Convenor, Professor David Flint.

“What next? The appointment of Judges? Will Parliament debate those too, and under privilege. The American experience is disappointing, and has been abused so outrageously that very good candidates are unfairly disadvantaged, or even withdraw. Many wont even let their names go forward! I’m not saying Australian politicians would do this, but the danger will be there.”

“Sir William McKell and Bill Hayden proved to be excellent Governors General, but can you imagine what might have been said about them if Parliament had been given an opportunity to debate their appointments?”

“What happens in the event that Parliament declines its endorsement, which could occur where there is a minority government. What would happen in other parts of Australia where there is an upper house where the government has does not have a majority? Apart from being a disincentive to good candidates the US experience demonstrates the practice politicises the process. This is of course undesirable in relation to the very office which is intended to give leadership above and beyond politics” said Professor Flint. “The proposal needs to be reconsidered.”