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Butler resigns as Tasmanian Governor -

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Butler resigns as Tasmanian Governor

Reporter: Gary Magnussen

MAXINE McKEW: Tasmania's Governor Richard Butler has resigned.

In a statement issued a short time ago, Mr Butler has decided to leave the vice-regal position
after 10 months in the job.

Richard Butler returned to Tasmania from his holiday in Sydney only yesterday, dodging the waiting

Disquiet about his ability to perform in the role of gGovernor has grown, after three senior staff
resigned while he was on leave.

We cross live to the ABC's Tasmanian political reporter Gary Magnussen.

Gary, this resignation - has it been offered or extracted, do you think?

GARY MAGNUSSEN: At this stage, Maxine, that would be speculation.

The Premier left Government House without stopping and explaining his side of the matter to the
waiting media.

The Governor's stand-in official secretary released a statement shortly thereafter, saying that the
Governor would resign effective immediately because of what he has described as a malicious
campaign against him which he judged would continue and would continue to damage the good name of

MAXINE McKEW: And as the Governor sees it, what has been the nature of that malicious campaign and
why does he consider it to be so debilitating?

GARY MAGNUSSEN: The Governor has alluded to this campaign in the past.

Today one of his good friends and supporters came forward and said that it was a campaign by
conservatives, and also alluded to one of the newspaper groups as well - that were basically
conducting a payback for the Peter Hollingsworth situation.

MAXINE McKEW: And this decision, how do you think the Tasmanians will receive it?

Richard Butler has only been in the job 10 months.

He was put there by the late Jim Bacon who had tremendous hopes for the great goodwill that Richard
Butler would bring to this role.

GARY MAGNUSSEN: It may well be a mixed response, Maxine.

Talkback callers today, for argument's sake, seemed to support Mr Butler.

However, for example, some of that great - some of the great hopes at least that Jim Bacon had for
Mr Butler haven't been fulfilled.

For example, the ambassadorial role opening doors.

In fact, the business community say they've heard nothing from Mr Butler during his time down here,
so that was a great point of contention. Combined with his $370,000 a year salary, which set the
ball rolling in terms of questions being asked and questions, as Mr Butler has pointed out in his
statement, that would continue to be asked, you would imagine, for the term of his - if he were to
see out his full term - for the remainder of that term.

MAXINE McKEW: Just on the question of the staff who resigned at Government House, do we know any

This has happened in the last couple of days leading up to tonight.

Do we know any more about their grievances?

GARY MAGNUSSEN: No, the staff are keeping quiet on exactly why they have resigned, which has led to
more speculation as to why they resigned.

There were some reports there were rows between the Butler family and the staff about the way they
were conducting business at Government House.

But again, at this stage, that is mere speculation.

MAXINE McKEW: How long will the Butler family remain in Government House, and I take it the
Lieutenant Governor also takes over in the interim.

GARY MAGNUSSEN: Yes, the Chief Justice will step into that role now as Mr Butler's resignation is
effective immediately. However, the Butler family will remain in Government House in Tasmania until
September 3, to give them time to organise their departure.

MAXINE McKEW: For those details, Gary Magnussen in Hobart thanks very much indeed.

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