Australian Prime Minister John Howard announced Sunday his choice of Michael Jeffery, a former state governor and commander of Australia's crack SAS soldiers, as the governor-general.
The Prime Minister revealed Sunday he had told the Queen last Wednesday of his intention to appoint the former Vietnam veteran "who relates extremely well to people" to the post left vacant by Peter Hollingworth's forced resignation last month.
Mr Jeffery, awarded a Military Cross medal for bravery during the Vietnam War, will come out of retirement to take the vice-regal office in August.
Mr Howard has appointed the former military officer and West Australian governor to the post in a bid to restore credibility to the vice-regal office, following the furore over Dr Hollingworth, who was accused of protecting a pedophile while Anglican archbishop of Brisbane.
Mr Jeffery's seven years' vice-regal experience in Western Australia and his peerless military record put him well ahead of other candidates.
While his appointment is considered "safe", his leadership qualities as a former commander of the SAS and a personal acquaintance with the Queen also tipped the scales in his favour.
Mr Howard said yesterday he had made the decision about a week ago. He had discussed it with a number of senior colleagues and other people "whose counsel I value and whose knowledge of the person is very direct and continuous".
Having received the Queen's approval on Friday, Mr Howard informed Opposition Leader Simon Crean an hour before making the decision public at a press conference in Sydney Sunday.
Mr Howard said Mr Jeffery was noted for his capacity to relate to all sections of the community as governor of Western Australia.