By Political Reporter Jane Norman.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has dumped knights and dames from the honours system, meaning Australians will no longer have the chance to become a sir or a dame.
Mr Turnbull, who is a well-known republican, today released a statement saying the Queen had approved his Government’s request to scrap the titles.
“The Cabinet recently considered the Order of Australia in this its 40th anniversary year and agreed that Knights and Dames are not appropriate in our modern honours system,” he said.
“The Cabinet resolved to recommend to Her Majesty that she amend the Letters Patent, which establish the Order of Australia, so that Knights and Dames would no longer be appointed to the Order.”
Since 2014, the honour has been bestowed upon the Governor General Peter Cosgrove, former governor general Quentin Bryce, Prince Phillip, former Defence Force chief Angus Houston and former NSW governor Marie Bashir.
Mr Turnbull said they would not be affected by the changes.
Mr Abbott shocked his own party when he brought back Knights and Dames in 2014 and was ridiculed as “out of touch”, but it was his decision to knight Prince Phillip on Australia Day this year which drew the greatest controversy.
Following a public backlash, Mr Abbott announced he would remove himself from the process of choosing knight and dame-hoods.