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He will be regarded as a safe and uncontroversial choice, although some critics will say the government should have looked beyond former military ranks. Sean Davey/AAP

NSW Governor David Hurley will be Australia’s new Governor-General

Prime Minister Scott Morrison timed his news conference in Canberra with the governor-general designate to coincide with Bill Shorten's opening address at the ALP national conference in Adelaide.
Australia’s Constitution vests executive power in the Queen and says that that power is exercised ‘on her behalf’ by the governor-general. AAP/Alan Porritt

Nine things you should know about a potential Australian republic

Many of the questions that would arise if Australia wants to become a republic have been successfully tackled elsewhere.
Labor says it will move a motion in the Senate this week for a message to be sent to the Governor-General, requesting he dismiss Dyson Heydon as royal commissioner. AAP/Alan Porritt

Can the Senate force the removal of a royal commissioner?

Given the Governor-General usually acts on the advice of the government and its ministers, an address from the Senate on Dyson Heydon is unlikely to have any effect.
A down-to-earth bloke with a CV to make some other leaders blush, Peter Cosgrove was made to be a modern governor-general. AAP/Dave Hunt

Peter Cosgrove, groomed by a life of service to be our GG

In racing terms, there are favourites, odds-on favourites and unbackable favourites. Then there is Peter Cosgrove. About the only person not certain over the past three months that Cosgrove would be appointed…
Now that governor-general Quentin Bryce has issued the writs for the election and dissolved parliament, the government is in caretaker mode. But what does this mean? AAP/Alan Porritt

Explainer: what are the caretaker government conventions?

The Coalition has raised concerns that the Memorandum of Understanding with Papua New Guinea over the Manus Island asylum seeker processing deal was entered into after the caretaker conventions commenced…

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