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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 May, 2003, 10:12 GMT 11:12 UK
Australia poll stirs resignation row
Peter Hollingworth
Mr Hollingworth has weathered calls for his head before

A large majority of Australians want Governor-General Peter Hollingworth to resign over his handling of a child sex abuse scandal, according to an opinion poll.

The newspaper poll, published on Tuesday, showed that 76% of those questioned thought he should quit, while 18% thought he should remain in his post as Queen Elizabeth's representative in Australia.

Mr Hollingworth has faced calls to resign since a report was released last week criticising him for failing to act appropriately in at least two cases of abuse when he was the Archbishop of Brisbane in the 1990s.

The Anglican church report said he committed a "grave error of judgment" by allowing a known paedophile to continue working as a priest.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer joined in the debate on Mr Hollingworth's future on Tuesday.

"Does he feel he can work his way through this in a period of time or does he feel that he can't?" asked Mr Downer in a radio interview.

Already several senior ministers, including treasurer Peter Costello and deputy Prime Minister John Anderson have urged him to consider his position.

But prime minister John Howard, who chose Mr Hollingworth for his position in 2001, is continuing to stand by him, and has said that there are no grounds for his dismissal.

Mr Howard, who is due to meet the Queen during a visit to Britain on Wednesday, has refused to say whether he would discuss the matter with her.

The Queen appoints and dismisses Australia's governor-general on the prime minister's recommendation.

Australia governor 'will not resign'
05 May 03  |  Asia-Pacific
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Timeline: Australia
03 May 01  |  Asia-Pacific
Country Profile: Australia
03 May 01  |  Country profiles

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