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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Republic Movement slams 42% pay rise for new Governor-General

The Australian Republic Movement has questioned a proposed 42% pay increase for the King’s next representative – the incoming Governor-General.

The Movement’s National Director and CEO, Isaac Jeffrey said: “Aussies are suffering from a cost-of-living crisis. They’ll look at the Government’s announcement of a 42% pay rise for the next Governor-General and question what they are getting for that investment.

“It’s not a representative of the people, because the Governor-General represents the King, not Aussies. It’s certainly not an advocate or champion of democracy and Australia, because that’s not their current job description. It’s not someone who can encourage trade and investment in our nation or showcase Aussie talent on the world stage, because until we become a republic, that’s not the role of our Head of State or his representative.”

Samantha Mostyn AO will be sworn in as Australia’s 28th Governor-General on 1 July, taking over from David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d). The Governor-General holds office at the pleasure of The King, however the term is usually understood to be five years.

The Albanese government is seeking to raise the annual pay for the position by $214,000 – from $495,000 to $709,000. The Government says the salary should be higher because Ms Mostyn does not receive other Commonwealth payments, such as the military pensions received by Mr Hurley following his service in the defence force.

Assistant Minister to Prime Minister, Patrick Gorman, introduced a Bill into Federal Parliament yesterday to action the pay rise. The salary update must be approved by Parliament before next week, and will set Ms Mostyn’s remuneration for her entire period in office.

“I’m all for paying people what they are worth and for the skills and experience they bring to a role, but until our Head of State is working for us full-time and is fully-committed to Australia and only Australia, and until it’s one of us elected on merit, not simply representing a foreign King, then I think this pay increase might be a bit of a stretch,” said Mr Jeffrey.

He said it was time Australia “was an equal on the world stage” with its own democratically elected Head of State.

“An Aussie who can represent us, lobby and advocate for us, champion our jobs and economy, and boost our trade relationships. Someone we’re proud to see representing us at home and abroad.”

“Until we become a republic, maybe the King himself should fund his representative and, while he’s at it, he should pay for his own trip to visit in October. While Aussies are struggling to pay their rents or mortgages and put food on their tables, we can’t afford this billionaire King’s token holiday or his representative’s new wage,” he said.

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