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Archives for February 2002

Children Overboard: Admiral Chris Barrie In Humiliating Recantation

The Chief of the Defence Force, Admiral Chris Barrie, has recanted his earlier statements about the Children Overboard affair.

Barrie appeared before the Senate Estimates Committee today. He later issued a statement and held a press conference today.

Barrie’s statement is seen as letting the Howard government off the hook over its actions during last year’s election campaign. [Read more…]

Hollingworth Issues Third Statement Following New Questions

Following new allegations about a reference given by Dr. Hollingworth when he was Archbishop of Brisbane to Ross McAuley, the Governor-General has issued a third statement.

The statement has been released by the Governor-General’s Official Secretary.

Statement by Dr. Peter Hollingworth.

I have received inquiries about a reference given by Dr Hollingworth for use by Ross McAuley, the former Precentor of Brisbane Cathedral in his pursuit of further employment, specifically as a Roman Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Tasmania, following the decision of the Cathedral Chapter that operating funds no longer allowed for the full-time position of Precentor. [Read more…]

Stem Cell Research: A Case Study Of How Cabinet Works

This newspaper report provides a good case study of how Cabinet government works.

Note the interplay between Ministers, parliamentary committees, the Prime Minister, the public service and state governments.

The article points to the importance of ideological leanings amongst ministers. It also shows the role parliament can play in the formation of legislation. [Read more…]

Howard Continues To Back Hollingworth

Prime Minister John Howard has continued his support for the Governor-General, Dr. Peter Hollingworth.

In a doorstop interview today, Howard said: “I can only honestly form a view and the view I have honestly formed is that the grounds do not exist for me to recommend to the Queen that he be removed.” [Read more…]

Hollingworth Issues Another Statement Responding To Allegations

The Governor-General, Dr. Peter Hollingworth, has issued a second written statement in response to allegations about his handling of sex abuse cases whilst he was Archbishop of Brisbane.

HollingworthThe statement follows new charges on Channel 9’s Sunday program that Hollingworth did not respond appropriately to ongoing allegations about a Queensland priest.

Late today, the Official Secretary of the Governor-General issued the following statement:

Statement from the Governor-General.

“The Governor-General has viewed today’s edition of the Sunday program and does not believe that it raised any substantive issues that were not addressed in his previous statements. [Read more…]

Howard: A Constitutional Earthquake To Sack A Governor-General

Prime Minister John Howard says it would be a “constitutional earthquake” to sack a Governor-General.

Howard made the comment in an interview on A Current Affair about his defence of Dr. Peter Hollingworth at a press conference today.

Howard said he did not believe there was a case for dismissing the Governor-General.

Transcript of Prime Minister John Howard’s interview with Mike Munro on Channel 9’s A Current Affair.

MUNRO: Mr Howard, thanks for your time. You certainly surprised a lot of people today.

PRIME MINISTER: Well I did what I thought was right. I didn’t feel that the grounds existed to sack the Governor General because that’s really what it amounted to. I read his statement and having read it I couldn’t bring myself, having examined my conscience, to remove the man from office when I knew that he’d done nothing wrong as Governor General. There was no evidence of any criminal behaviour, no evidence of any moral lapses on his part, and at worst a number of errors of judgement and who amongst us have not been guilty of errors of judgement. [Read more…]

Crean: Howard Should Advise The Queen To Terminate Hollingworth’s Appointment

The Federal Opposition Leader, Simon Crean, has called upon the Prime Minister to advise the Queen to terminate the Governor-General’s appointment.

Crean’s call for Dr. Hollingworth to be removed from his post represents a serious moment in the controversy over child sexual abuse that has been swirling around the Governor-General. [Read more…]

John Howard’s Press Conference In Support Of The Governor-General

The Prime Minister, John Howard, has given his support to the Governor-General, Peter Hollingworth.

Speaking at a press conference today, Howard said he had come to the conclusion “that there are no grounds to advice on the information now available to Her Majesty to terminate Dr. Hollingworth’s appointment”.

Howard said: “People will say and he has admitted that he has probably been guilty of some errors of judgement in relation to certain matters. But that is for none of us, to use the colloquialism, of itself a hanging offence. Who of us have not been guilty in the discharge of some of our obligations errors of judgement?” [Read more…]

Constitutional Crisis: Hollingworth Apologises, Then Flies To New Zealand; Crean Calls On Howard To Sack Governor-General

12.30pm AEST – In scenes reminiscent of the Whitlam years, the Federal Government is in damage control mode today, facing a constitutional crisis over the future of the Governor-General, and its honesty under attack in the children overboard affair.

In a series of developments this morning, the Prime Minister, John Howard, drove to Yarralumla at 9.00am for a meeting with the Governor-General, Dr. Peter Hollingworth.

At 10.00am, Hollingworth became the first Governor-General to give a doorstop interview at the gates of Government House. In a statement lasting 82 seconds, after which he refused to take reporters’ questions, Hollingworth claimed he had misheard a question he was asked on the ABC program Australian Story last Monday, causing him to give a response which suggested he condoned child abuse. [Read more…]

Governor-General Peter Hollingworth’s Statement And Apology Regarding Handling Of Child Sex Abuse Allegations

Governor-General Peter Hollingworth has given a statement and apology over his handling of child sex abuse allegations during his time as Archbishop of Brisbane.

Hollingworth gave an extraordinary doorstop interview at the gates of Government House, the Governor-General’s official residence in Yarralumla, Canberra. [Read more…]