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 18 MESSAGE FROM THE SENATE—GOVERNOR-GENERAL RESOLUTION

Message No. 258, 15 May 2003, from the Senate was reported transmitting the following resolution agreed to by the Senate:

That the Senate—

(a) notes with concern that:

 (i) the Government has failed to respond to evidence of sexual abuse of children in our society and within our public institutions,


(ii) the independent report of the Diocesan Board of Inquiry found that Dr Peter Hollingworth, while occupying a position of public trust as Archbishop of Brisbane, allowed a priest to remain in the ministry after an admission of sexual abuse, and the Board of Inquiry found this decision to be `untenable',

(iii) the Governor-General has admitted that he made a serious error in doing so,

(iv) Dr Peter Hollingworth, through his actions while in the Office of Governor-General, in particular his interview on `Australian Story' and his apparent `reconstruction' of evidence before the Diocesan Board of Inquiry, has shown himself not to be a person suitable to hold the Office of Governor-General,

(v) members of the House of Representatives, senators, and premiers and members of state parliaments have called upon the Governor-General to resign, or failing that, to be dismissed by the Prime Minister,

(vi) the Governor-General is now no longer able to fulfil his symbolic role as a figure of unity for the Australian people,

(vii) the Governor-General is now no longer able to exercise the constitutional powers of the Office in a manner that will be seen as impartial and non-partisan,

(viii) the Governor-General's action in standing aside until the current Victorian Supreme Court action is resolved, does not address any of the issues surrounding his behaviour as Archbishop of Brisbane, and is therefore inadequate,

(ix) the Governor-General has failed to resign and the Prime Minister has failed to advise the Queen of Australia to dismiss him, and

(x) the Australian Constitution fails to set out any criteria for the dismissal of a Governor-General or a fair process by which this can be achieved; and

(b) urges:

 (i) the Prime Minister to establish a Royal Commission into child sexual abuse in Australia, and

(ii) the Governor-General to immediately resign or, if he does not do so, the Prime Minister to advise the Queen of Australia to terminate the Commission of the Governor-General.

The Senate requests the concurrence of the House in this resolution.

Mr Abbott (Leader of the House) moved—That consideration of the message be made an order of the day for the next sitting.

Ms Roxon rising to address the House—

Closure

Mr Abbott moved—That the question be now put.

Question—That the question be now put—put.

The House divided (the Deputy Speaker, Mr Causley, in the Chair)—

AYES, 74

Mr AbbottMrs DraperMr P. E. KingMr Scott
Mr AndersonMr DuttonMrs LeyMr Secker
Mr K. J. AndrewsMr EntschMr LindsayMr Slipper
Mr AnthonyMr FarmerMr LloydMr A. D. H. Smith
Fran BaileyMr Forrest*Mr McArthur*Mr Somlyay
Mr BairdMs GambaroMr I. E. MacfarlaneDr Southcott
Mr BaldwinMrs GashMr McGauranDr Stone
Mr BarresiMr GeorgiouMrs MayMr C. P. Thompson
Mr BartlettMr HaaseMrs MoylanMr Ticehurst
Mr BillsonMr HardgraveMr NairnMr Truss
Mrs B. K. BishopMr HartsuykerDr NelsonMr Tuckey
Ms J. I. BishopMr HawkerMr NevilleMr M. A. J. Vaile
Mr BroughMrs HullMs PanopoulosMrs D. S. Vale
Mr CadmanMr HuntMr PearceMr Wakelin
Mr CameronMr JohnsonMr ProsserDr Washer
Mr CharlesMr JullMr PyneMr Williams
Mr CioboMrs D. M. KellyMr RandallMs Worth
Mr CobbJackie KellyMr Ruddock
Mr CostelloDr KempMr Schultz

NOES, 57

Mr AdamsMr EvansMs C. F. KingMr Ripoll
Mr AlbaneseMr L. D. T. FergusonMr LathamMs Roxon
Mr AndrenMr M. J. FergusonMs LivermoreMr Rudd
Mr BeazleyMr FitzgibbonMr McClellandMr Sawford
Mr BevisMs GeorgeMs J. S. McFarlaneMr Sciacca
Mr BreretonMr GibbonsMr McMullanMr Sercombe
Ms BurkeMs GillardMr MelhamMr Sidebottom
Mr ByrneMs GriersonMr MossfieldMr S. F. Smith
Ms CorcoranMr GriffinMr MurphyMr K. J. Thomson
Mr CoxMs HallMs O'ByrneMs Vamvakinou
Mr CreanMr HattonMr B. P. O'ConnorMr Wilkie
Mr Danby*Ms HoareMr G. M. O'ConnorMr Zahra
Mr EdwardsMrs IrwinMr Organ
Ms EllisMs JacksonMr Price
Mr EmersonMr JenkinsMr Quick*

* Tellers

And so it was resolved in the affirmative.

And the question—That consideration of the message be made an order of the day for the next sitting—being accordingly put—

The House divided (the Deputy Speaker, Mr Causley, in the Chair)—

AYES, 74

Mr AbbottMrs DraperMr P. E. KingMr Scott
Mr AndersonMr DuttonMrs LeyMr Secker
Mr K. J. AndrewsMr EntschMr LindsayMr Slipper
Mr AnthonyMr FarmerMr LloydMr A. D. H. Smith
Fran BaileyMr Forrest*Mr McArthur*Mr Somlyay
Mr BairdMs GambaroMr I. E. MacfarlaneDr Southcott
Mr BaldwinMrs GashMr McGauranDr Stone
Mr BarresiMr GeorgiouMrs MayMr C. P. Thompson
Mr BartlettMr HaaseMrs MoylanMr Ticehurst
Mr BillsonMr HardgraveMr NairnMr Truss
Mrs B. K. BishopMr HartsuykerDr NelsonMr Tuckey
Ms J. I. BishopMr HawkerMr NevilleMr M. A. J. Vaile
Mr BroughMrs HullMs PanopoulosMrs D. S. Vale
Mr CadmanMr HuntMr PearceMr Wakelin
Mr CameronMr JohnsonMr ProsserDr Washer
Mr CharlesMr JullMr PyneMr Williams
Mr CioboMrs D. M. KellyMr RandallMs Worth
Mr CobbJackie KellyMr Ruddock
Mr CostelloDr KempMr Schultz

NOES, 58

Mr AdamsMr EvansMs C. F. KingMr Ripoll
Mr AlbaneseMr L. D. T. FergusonMr LathamMs Roxon
Mr AndrenMr M. J. FergusonMs LivermoreMr Rudd
Mr BeazleyMr FitzgibbonMr McClellandMr Sawford
Mr BevisMs GeorgeMs J. S. McFarlaneMr Sciacca
Mr BreretonMr GibbonsMr McMullanMr Sercombe
Ms BurkeMs GillardMr MelhamMr Sidebottom
Mr ByrneMs GriersonMr MossfieldMr S. F. Smith
Ms CorcoranMr GriffinMr MurphyMr Tanner
Mr CoxMs HallMs O'ByrneMr K. J. Thomson
Mr CreanMr HattonMr B. P. O'ConnorMs Vamvakinou
Mr Danby*Ms HoareMr G. M. O'ConnorMr Wilkie
Mr EdwardsMrs IrwinMr OrganMr Zahra
Ms EllisMs JacksonMr Price
Mr EmersonMr JenkinsMr Quick*

* Tellers

And so it was resolved in the affirmative.