A powerful coalition of survivor rights groups have
joined forces to demand the Prime Minister change legislation to
allow the stripping of government pensions from disgraced former
officials, amid revelations former Governor-General Peter
Hollingworth continues to collect a taxpayer-funded benefit worth
well over half a million dollars a year.
Dr Hollingworth resigned from the Governor-Generals office in
2003 after it emerged he failed to take action against known
paedophiles within the Anglican Church during his time as the
Archbishop of Brisbane in the early 1990s. He was also adversely
named in the recent Royal Commission into Institutional Responses
to Child Sexual Abuse, after being found to have mislead an earlier
inquiry about paedophile priest, John Elliot.
Dr Hollingworth served less than two years as the head of state,
but a decade-and-a-half on continues to be paid a substantial
annual benefit. In 2016 alone, he was the beneficiary of $640,000,
documents released through Freedom of Information
reveal. $357,732 is paid as a salary, the remainder he
receives to run a staff office, plus travel entitlements.
Under the current laws, a former Governor-General could be
sentenced to a term of imprisonment, and still receive his or her
The call also comes as the Morrison Government prepares to
deliver a National Apology to Victims and Survivors of
Institutional Child Sexual Abuse later this month, a key
recommendation from the recent Royal Commission.
Scott Morrison is sworn in as the 30th Australian Prime
In an open letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison published
today, Bravehearts, the Blue Knot Foundation, Care Leavers
Australasia Network, End Rape On Campus Australia*, Beyond Abuse
and the Queensland Child Sexual Abuse Legislative Reform Council
demand that he reform legislation so that a pension can be stripped
if information comes to light which suggests it is not in the
We, the undersigned, ask the Prime Minister to immediately
commit to introducing legislation to amend the Governor-General
Act 1974 to include a Code of Conduct, and link ongoing
payments to a Good Character/Good Conduct test plus a provision to
cease payment of public money to a former Governor-General where
that payment is deemed to no longer be in the p...