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Peter Hollingworth's resignation does not make for a constitutional crisis

By David Flint - posted Wednesday, 28 May 2003

There is probably no other person in high public office in our nation who has done more for the poor, the underprivileged, or the disadvantaged than Peter Hollingworth. (Admittedly, others may have talked more or even spent more - even if that were courtesy of the taxpayer).

The sad thing is that many of those who know this proved willing participants in what Terry O'Gorman QC, of the Council for Civil Liberties said was nothing more than a witch hunt.

This has had little to do with concern for victims of child abuse but everything to do with bringing Dr Hollingworth down - and thereby demonstrating that the judgement of the Prime Minister was flawed.


The proof of this can be seen in the lack of concern for the victims of infant school teacher turned MP Bill D'Arcy, whose claims for compensation were fought all the way to the High Court by the Queensland government, unlike the maligned and the less well endowed Anglican Church which is settling claims made against it.

Nor do we hear much about the strange decision of the Queensland government to shred the records of the Heiner child abuse inquiry.

The witch hunt was an egregious example of double standards, one unparalleled in recent years.

So when most of the allegations were found in the recent Diocesan Report to be absolutely groundless, the pack just moved on to a new one without apology or even correction.

They were determined never to let go, so for the sake of the office, Dr Hollingworth will now resign.

It would be foolish for the republican movement to take any comfort from all of this. We - and strangely they - do not even know what sort of republic they want!


And the public will not see millions again diverted from schools, hospitals and other pressing needs for this folly - especially when they have already funded them to produce their two highly flawed models.

Indeed, the people have made it very clear they do not want to change their constitution or their flag.

Nor should any changes be made to the present system under which Governor-General - and Governors- are appointed. Prime Ministers and Premiers of all parties have always made a genuine effort to recommend an outstanding person for the position.

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This article was first published in The Sydney Morning Herald on 27 May 2003.

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About the Author

David Flint is a former chairman of the Australian Press Council and the Australian Broadcasting Authority, is author of The Twilight of the Elites, and Malice in Media Land, published by Freedom Publishing. His latest monograph is Her Majesty at 80: Impeccable Service in an Indispensable Office, Australians for Constitutional Monarchy, Sydney, 2006

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