Someone in Australian Politics who isn’t a ratbag

Australian politics is full of ratbags…in the past few years there have been a parade of them through the Independent Commission against Corruption. Going back through the years you had the ratbags of the Bjelke-Peterson government, then the NSW Labor government.

However…there is one person who isn’t a ratbag and that is the Governor-General, showing some integrity long since lost in most politicians.

Governor-General Quentin Bryce offered her resignation to Prime Minister Tony Abbott in anticipation of her son-in-law Bill Shorten being elected Labor leader.

But Mr Abbott declined the offer and asked her to serve the rest of her term, which ends in March.

In a statement, Mr Abbott said Ms Bryce had offered to quit to avoid any perception of bias. Mr Shorten is married to Ms Bryce’s daughter Chloe.

But Mr Abbott said he had declined to accept Ms Bryce’s resignation, given the length of term remaining, and that the Coalition had a clear majority in the House of Representatives.

“The Governor-General is currently serving an extended term in office that she did not seek. Her agreement to stay on was a measure of her personal commitment to provide continuity at a time of political turbulence and she should be commended for her dedication to public service.

‘‘Her excellency … has served the people of Australia with distinction and has provided a gracious note to our constitutional arrangements through her widespread engagement with the community,’’ he said. “I believe it is only fit and proper that she be permitted to conclude her term and be accorded the appropriate farewell that her exemplary service merits.”

Ms Bryce’s term was originally to expire last month but in October last year then prime minister Julia Gillard extended her term to avoid the messy situation of her term ending during an election campaign.

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