AUSTRALIA’S NEW GOVERNOR GENERAL NOTES SECURITY ISSUES

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AUSTRALIA’S NEW GOVERNOR GENERAL NOTES SECURITY ISSUES

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, June 23) - Australia's
new Governor-General says the South Pacific will pose security problems for many
years to come.

Retired Major-General Michael Jeffery, who takes over as the
Queen's representative in Canberra in August, said Australia has
responsibilities to the South West Pacific.

Jeffery said the problems of the Solomon Islands provide an
example of the issues Australia will have to confront.

"I think certain countries of the Pacific are in very dire,
difficult circumstances and they might ask for all sorts of assistance in times
to come," he said.

Members of the Australian parliament have welcomed the
appointment of the governor general, the Queen's representative in Australia.

But the opposition and the minor parties say the prime minister
should have consulted more widely before making the appointment.

Jeffery will be sworn in as Australia's 24th governor general in
August.

Labor's Laurie Ferguson said the opposition would have preferred
more consultation. "There should be a three-person committee that selects
the person but I don't think there's been too much criticism of the person has
there?"

Liberal backbencher Andrew Southcott said he has confidence in
Howard's decision. "Just from what I've heard on the radio he sounds like
an outstanding choice. (He) really did a good job as governor of Western
Australia and (had) a very distinguished military career."

The Greens say it is time Australia became a republic, and
voters were allowed to choose the head of state.

The former governor-general, Dr Peter Hollingworth, resigned
last month following revelations while serving as Anglican Archbishop of
Brisbane he allowed a paedophile priest to continue in the priesthood.

June 24, 2003

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra 

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