General Peter Cosgrove poses with his wife Lynne in Canberra. General Cosgrove has been appointed the next Governor General of Australia on the retirement in March of the present Governor General Quentin Bryce.
General Peter Cosgrove poses with his wife Lynne in Canberra. General Cosgrove has been appointed the next Governor General of Australia on the retirement in March of the present Governor General Quentin Bryce. ALAN PORRITT

New GG Peter Cosgrove vows to stay out of politics

FORMER General Peter Cosgrove has vowed to stay out of political debate once he is officially appointed as Australia's 26th Governor-General in March.

After much speculation, Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Tuesday announced Queen Elizabeth II had officially accepted Gen Cosgrove's appointment.

While Governor-General Quentin Bryce recently entered the debate on the monarchy and gay marriage, Gen Cosgrove said he would "shine a light, but not generate heat" on political issues.

Despite the appointment of the military leader coinciding with the coming centenary of World War I, Mr Abbott said it was not a military appointment.

He said of all those considered, Gen Cosgrove was the best candidate for the job, and that he could not think of a "finer Australian" to make the contribution.

Gen Cosgrove, joined by his wife Lynne in Canberra, said he was "truly humbled" by the appointment, vowing to meet as many Australians as possible during his term.

He said he hoped, with the government's blessing, to travel widely throughout the country, to learn more about the issues confronting Australians from all walks of life.

Gen Cosgrove said while he had a background in the military, he understood Australians society had a much broader diversity, promising to be a Governor-General for all.

He said he hoped he would be a "mirror to Australian society" as he went about the role.

Governor-General Designate Cosgrove will take up the position officially in March, and said he will live at the official residence at Yarralumla in Canberra.



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