The Labor Establishment has finally cut its protective ties
with Lord Butler of Hobart, but who will replace him as Viceroy of Tassie?
Now that Governor Richard Butler is no longer – and neither Butler nor
the people of Tasmania seem particularly disappointed at this outcome –
the search is on for the next Queen’s Representative in Tasmania.
carried a great quote last night from Tasmanian RSL State President Ian
Kennett: “They’ve looked outside the square and it hasn’t worked, so to
speak, this time, and maybe they need to look inside the triangle”.
It seems like Premier Paul Lennon might be struggling for names, so
here are a few suggestions compiled by a specially convened Crikey
Eminent Persons’ Group (actually, blogger Ari Sharp of ariontheweb.blogspot.com):
- Peter Hudson: We know what they’d do if Jesus came to
Hawthorn, but what would happen if one of the greatest ever
goal-kickers headed home to Tasmania?
- Bob Brown: Just to get the guy out of the Senate and away
from the balance of power where he might do some real harm. Think of it
as a containment strategy.
- Greg Barns: Ex-Liberal, now Democrat, professional Tasmanian and with a lot of time on his hands.
- Honey Bacon: A fitting tribute to her late husband Jim, and dammit, you’ve just got to love the name.
- Reggie from Big Brother: At least there was more democracy in the selection of Big Brother evictees than there is in the selection of the Governor.
- Brian Harradine: An elder statesman with a lot of respect
from all sides who would bring dignity and gravitas to the job. (No
punch line as this one’s sorta serious).
- Kofi Annan: A man who’s more Butler than Butler himself.
Meanwhile, Crikey subscribers have responded to our call for suggestion
for the next Governor of Tasmania with some serious (and not so
serious) contenders. If you’d like to add a name to the list just
email Crikey at letters @crikey.com.au
So far the suggestions for Governor of Tasmania have included:
I reckon University of Tasmania Chancellor Michael Vertigan would make
an excellent Governer. The Chancellor of a University takes a very
similar role in that they have to speak in general terms about the
vision for the University and in a manner that unifies everyone.
Perhaps he could do the same for the rest of the state?
My observation of Dr Vertigan from the time I was on the University
Council was that he was an excellent statesman, and seemed to have a
natural talent for decorum. I suspect it would be a very
I’d nominate Peter Cundall, for Governor of Tasmania but being an
avowed republican, he would have the grace NOT to take the gig.
Might I suggest Max “Tangles” Walker. He has a similar knockabout
quality to Boony, but is a bit older and more articulate. Seems to be
at a of a loose end these days too.
May I, as a humble Queenslander, make a suggestion that Tasmanians have
living in their midst the well-respected former Queensland Senator,
Margaret Reynolds who could fill the role of governor of their fair
state with grace and humanity.
All who know her suggest former senior ABC journalist and presenter
Judy Tierney would make a fabulous governor. The Tasmanian Tigress is
well respected in local politics and a fabulous host. I’m sure she’d
appreciate a bigger venue to host her legendary dinners.
I would like to nominate Doug Low. He is an ex-labour Premier of
the State, and after his recent retirement from his position as
Executive Officer of the Tasmanian Branch of the AMA, would be
available immediately to fill the post.
He carried out his duties for the AMA with great assurance and success,
and would be well thought of in medical circles as well as in the ALP,
surely a very unusually disparate combination of supporters. As
far as I know he is still held in good standing in Labor circles, and
has the experience to carry out the duties with his very wide knowledge
of historical and current Tasmanian conditions.
In a bid to placate the angry Opposition, and show that Tasmania is a
progressive state, they could appoint a Tasmanian woman in former
Liberal Senator Jocelyn Newman.
My suggestion is ex senator and northern Tasmanian Jocelyn Newman, She
would be totally capable for the vice regal duties. Newman is well
regarded through out the state and would not get the community off side.
The Libs could hardly complain and Paul Lennon would come out of this
mess looking like a good guy (for a change) who picked the best person
for the job regardless of political history.
Tasmania’s greatest ever footballer still playing is of course Alastair
Lynch. Slated to retire after this year’s 4th successive Lions
grand final win only a few weeks away at the end of September, he’d be
perfect for the role and a fine example to the youth of the Apple
Isle. Against this appointment I must say it may be difficult to
uproot him from Queensland, and he’s a northerner (the rivalry between
Launceston and Hobart makes the Sydney-Melbourne thing look very tame
by comparison), but he might be persuaded given the going pay rate
seems generous even by the standards of an AFL star.
If you wish a serious suggestion as to who might be appointed, look no further than The Hon Peter George Underwood, AO.
Dr Jocelynne Scutt would be perfect. She’s fair, noble, strong and
caring. Unfortunately she’s suffering a dispute with the Tasmanian
Government at the moment so is an unlikely candidate.
I can’t believe you’ve left Boonie of your list! Boonie would
make the perfect Gov. He’s a down to Earth bloke who certainly wouldn’t
diminish the achievements of young cricket players at official
More to the point, he’s a real Taswegian capable of having a few down
at the local with the lads before padding up for the PM’s XI, not some
blow-in tosser with no real desire to serve the people.
Bring on David Boon for Governer! How many beers can he drink between the airport and Government House?
How could you forget Michael Hodgeman. There is one man who would love
the protocol, fete openings etc that are the governor’s lot and which
apparently bored Mr Butler so much. Michael for Governor.
I nominate Crikey just the right sense of self importance combined with
erratic behaviour although much cheaper to operate. Good Luck
Hobart resident and subscriber
CRIKEY: Email letters @crikey.com.au for further suggestions.