The Governor of New South Wales Part Three
Written by Thomas Flynn   
Wednesday, 15 June 2011

This is part three of the education video produced in New South Wales during the governorship of Sir David Martin. See also part one and part two .

In this extract Sir David sums up for the visiting school children the power of the governor.

“The governor has his rights in the constitution and they are very simple. His rights are to be advised by the government, to be consulted by the government, to encourage and to warn.”

He also restates the classic formulation for the role of the Crown above politics. The point is that the power belongs to the crown but  - except in certain circumstances, involving the reserve powers - only the elected politicians can advise the legitimate exercise of that power.

“People ask what power the governor has, he has almost none at all. The question should be  - how much power does his presence deny to ministers who would otherwise have absolute power?”

In this video we see how this works in practice. The ministers advise the governor to sign, but it is not until he does so that the matter becomes law.