The Governor General & The '1975 Crisis'

Roles of the Governor General

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Constitutional Roles
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The governor general possesses many roles within the Australian legal and political system. In reference to the Constitutional roles, the Governor General: 


  • Presides over the Federal Executive Council as written under section 62 of the Commonwealth Constitution;


  • Facilitates the work of the Commonwealth Parliament and Government such as by providing royal assent; 


  • Dissolves Parliament and issues writs for a Federal election;


  • Commissions the Prime Minister, as well as appoints Ministers and Assistant Ministers (by the recommendation of the Prime Minister);


  • Holds and possibly may chose to exercise the Reserve Powers (which have only been ever used once before, during the 1975 'crisis').

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Ceremonial Roles
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Ceremonial roles of the Governor General refers to those to which the Governor General has formal duties in the wider community. These include, but are not limited to: 


  • Hosting visiting Heads of State (Leaders) and other prominent visitors to Australia; 

  • Opening new sessions of parliament

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Military Roles
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Military roles of the Governor General refers to those to which the Governor General has formal duties in the defence community. These include, but are not limited to: 


  • Through Federal Executive Council, appointing high military personnel;

  • Presenting Colours, Banners and other Honours to military units and personnel and,

  • Visiting military units to acknowledge the service of service personnel.

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Other Roles
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These roles are often used by the GG to represent Australian beliefs on a variety of levels. Such roles are:


  • Attend funerals and services; 

  • Presenting awards at major functions, and

  • Traveling widely in order to meet people and listen to their beliefs - engaging within the Australian society.

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Roles of the Governor General
Powers of the Governor General
The '1975 Crisis'
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