Governor under fire

GOVERNOR Peter Underwood is under political fire for ``quaint and naive'' Anzac Day comments.

Governor Peter Underwood

Governor Peter Underwood

But Bass Liberal MHR Andrew Nikolic, a retired army brigadier, yesterday would not give a direct answer when asked if he thought Mr Underwood should resign.

Mr Underwood told the Anzac Day ceremony in Hobart that ``Australia needs to drop the sentimental myths that Anzac Day has attracted''.

He said he rejected millions of dollars being spent on ``a discordant, lengthy  and exorbitant four-year festival of the dead''.

The federal government is spending about $145 million and wants  donations to help fund the four-year Centenary of Anzac program.

Mr Underwood said more money should go to the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney.

But Mr Nikolic said  Labor and Liberals agreed on the spending.

``If the Governor disagrees with decisions by Labor and Liberal governments regarding the centenary of Anzac, he should formally express those views to the government,'' Mr Nikolic said.

``I will leave decisions about vice-regal appointments to decision-makers at state and federal levels.

``I am sure His Excellency's comments are well-meaning. 

``But as a former defence professional, I am afraid they are quaint and naive.''

Mr Nikolic said  he opposed funding for the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, as it was ``inconsistent with our interests''.

When asked if Premier Will Hodgman still had confidence in Mr Underwood, a spokesman replied: ``Of course''.

Mr Hodgman had no problems with Mr Underwood's comments and there were no plans to make education more about peace.

A spokesman for state Opposition Leader Bryan Green said he was not at the Hobart service and did not hear the comments, and ``Labor will not presume to cast aspersions on the Governor's speech''.


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