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The Governor is appointed by the Sovereign and is her representative in New South Wales. The Governor is the formal head of state in New South Wales.

The Role of Governor has changed greatly over the years. The Governor today has an important constitutional and ceremonial role in New South Wales, but acts according to the advice given to them by the Government of Parliament. The Governor is also deeply involved in community organisations and events.

Constitutional Role

The Governor’s Constitutional Role includes:

  • Appointing Premier and Ministry from the party with majority political support in the Legislative Assembly to form a Government (normally after an election)
  • Presiding over the Executive Council
  • Determining dates of Parliamentary sessions and elections
  • Assenting to Bills passed by Parliament, making them laws
  • Proclaiming Regulations made under Acts of Parliament
  • Normally acts on the advice of Government but constitutional conventions do allow the Governor to take independent action under some circumstances.

The Governor’s primary task is to perform the sovereign’s constitutional duties on their behalf, acting within the principles of parliamentary democracy and responsible government as a symbol of stable government and nonpartisan safeguard against the abuse of power. The Governor represents NSW at special occasions like ceremonies or visits by foreign Heads of State.

The supreme executive authority in NSW is the Executive Council, consisting of the Ministers, presided over by the Governor. This is the formal, official arm of the Government, which gives legal authority to proclamations, regulations, appointments to the public service, judiciary, and other public positions such as officers of the Parliament, and commissions for officers of the Police Force.

Ceremonial Role

The Governor holds Investiture Ceremonies involving presentation of honours and awards at Government House twice a year. The recipients are principally being invested in the Order of Australia; however there are also a number of service and bravery awards.

Community Role

The Governor is Patron to numerous organisations. Mrs Linda Hurley is Co-Patron of some of these organisations and Patron of organisations in her own right. His Excellency receives courtesy calls from Heads of State, Royalty, Spiritual Leaders, Ambassadors and Foreign Ministers as well as incoming and outgoing members of the Consular Corps. The Governor also receives calls from organisations of which he is Patron, and other special interest groups. The Governor hosts many events at Government House to support community organisations such as the School Leaders program.

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