Knights and dames scrapped from Order of Australia
Melbourne, Australia : Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has scrapped knights and dames from the honors system, labelling the titles as anachronistic and out of date. These titles were reintroduced by the Former Prime Minister during his earlier tenure and found dumping ground from the existing PM after Turnbull took office and replaced Abbott. The old-style honors were brought in by Abbott in 2014 for honoring pre-eminent Australians and presenting them with such titles, but had become the subject of ongoing ridicule and controversy ever since. Abbott had shocked his own party when he had brought back knights and dames in 2014 and was ridiculed as ‘being out of touch’. The ridicule had escalated into a full-fledged controversy when Abbott took a decision to knight Prince Phillip on Australia Day this year which drew the greatest criticism. Following a public backlash, Abbott had announced then, that he would remove himself from the process of choosing knights and dames.
Turnbull and his Cabinet agreed unanimously that the titles were no longer appropriate in the modern awards system and went ahead with the scrapping as the Queen approved Turnbull’s request of scrapping them. Turnbull said, ‘It is a long way from being the most important issue in Australia today. This reflects modern Australia. Knights and dames are titles that are really anachronistic, they’re out of date, not appropriate in 2015 in Australia.’
Since 2014, the honor has been bestowed upon Governor-General Peter Cosgrove, former governor-general Quentin Bryce, Prince Phillip, former Defence Force chief Angus Houston and former NSW governor Marie Bashir. Turnbull clarified that those who had been given the honours earlier would not be forced to give it away as they would not be affected by this scrapping of titles, which would come into effect for future references.