A perspective on past viceroys pensions

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Barry Everingham

There’s a new controversy emerging surrounding the retirement entitlements of former Governors General. Barry Everingham gets this into perspective.

While ever we hold on to our current outdated Constitution there will be the need for seven Australians to represent the non-resident, unelected, foreign head of state not only of the Commonwealth but of the six states and one territory.

How the rest of the world views this multiple anachronism is a matter for conjecture – the shame is that most Australians don’t give it a second thought.

We know the viceroys exist, we seem them passing by but we won’t love them until they die because as a rule they return from whence they came after five years of unbridled luxury.

And of course they get a pension for the years of service they provided – it includes cars, free travel, an office and secretarial assistance.

Disgraced former Governor General Peter Hollingsworth being sworn in

This brings us to the latest fantasy of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy (ACM) owned and controlled by Professor Flint and the former trainee priest Tom Flynn.

On their blog they gloat that “the queen of Australia” and members of “our royal family” cost us nothing and don’t even get superannuation — what an uproar if they did. The hapless British taxpayer hands out millions of pounds a year to one of the world’s richest women to support her relatives.

And glory be to God, the new British conservative Government has cut the queen’s salary and expenses as part of an austerity campaign — she’s been demoted to the level of ordinary Brits.

Incidentally “our” queen and members of “our royal family” can’t boast a drop of Australian blood; when they undertake official overseas travel it’s to promote Britain and trade with Britain.

They do in fact cost us a lot – the millions of dollars spent annually on vice regal representation. ACM will say — but when we become a republic those costs will not be reduced.

Why should they be?

As matters stand they are spent propping up an outdated system – when the Republic of Australia is proclaimed they might still be in situ; but as heads of states protecting a modern Constitution.

We should be grateful that in these modern times we are saved from chinless moth eaten British peers in the vice regal jobs – and may they day never come when the prayers of  Flint/Flynn begging for William of Wales to be governor general are answered.

What a laughing stock Australia would become should that ever happen  
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