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Butler- The Governor
The National Legal Eagle
  • Gerard Carney, Bond University
Extract: Last year, the former butler to Princess Diana was the focus of international media attention when criminal charges against him were dropped after the Queen remembered a conversation with him which supported his defence. In August this year, a different Butler with royal connections in Tasmania was not so fortunate to be saved by his Queen. Perhaps, to avoid the risk of being the first State Governor to be dismissed by the Queen since colonial times, the Governor of Tasmania, Mr Richard Butler, agreed to stand down after a meeting with the Premier. The catalyst was the resignation of the Governor’s Official Secretary and other senior members of the Governor’s household in circumstances which clearly indicated a loss of confidence in their master. This was the final straw in what had been a string of controversies over the vice-regal behaviour of the Governor. Instead of the resignation alleviating the controversy, it actually deepened with the revelation by the Premier that he had agreed to pay Mr Butler an ex gratia payment of $600,000 for standing down 10 months into his term as Governor. By convention, the term is for five years. It was also revealed that the Governor’s annual salary was $370,000 - the highest vice-regal salary paid in Australia by its smallest State.
Citation Information
Gerard Carney. "Butler- The Governor" (2004)
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