It’s been a significant week for our newly minted Governor-General, David Hurley.
As Governor-General, one of the major hats one wears is President of the Federal Executive Council; a group of all Federal Government Ministers and their Parliamentary Secretaries.
Upon reading the Constitution, one might be forgiven for thinking the Governor-General and the Council are synonymous given any reference to the Governor-General in Council or elsewhere refers to the Governor-General acting on and with the advice of the Executive Council.
Established by the Constitution to perform similar functions in Australia to those performed by the Privy Council in the United Kingdom, the Council is the formal, constitutional and legal body through which the Government advises the Governor-General.
And this week Mr Hurley presided over his very first Council meeting.
These meetings, held fortnightly in Government House, are the Government’s opportunity to put forward recommendations to the Governor-General, who ensures laws are constitutionally correct and in line with Parliamentary Conventions before approving them.
Those summoned to Council meetings are those who are, currently, Ministers of State or Parliamentary Secretaries.
Just two, in addition to the person presiding, are rostered to attend each Council meeting.
And this week the lucky ones were Minister for Defence Industry Hon Melissa Price MP and Assistant Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and Financial Technology Senator the Hon Jane Hume.