Australia’s Governor-General has apologised after appearing in a video testimonial for a building company that renovated his private home.

David Hurley and his wife Linda appeared in the clip and offered glowing praise for the company Homes by Howe, which extended the couple’s Canberra property 18 months ago.

While it’s not illegal, it is widely frowned upon for a high-profile public official who is receiving a tax-payer funded salary to advertise a private business.

Governor-General David Hurley and his wife Linda agreed to pose for a photo for their builder Homes by Howe following the completion of renovations to their private Canberra home

The Governor-General, who is the Queen’s representative in Australia, apologised for the mistake in a statement released on Wednesday morning. 

‘I made a mistake by agreeing, on the spur of a happy moment, to express my appreciation for the builder in a video and photos. I apologise for my mistake,’ he said.

‘I received no benefit of any kind for my participation. My words were not intended to be used in direct commercial advertising and reference to my appointment was not to be made. 

‘Nevertheless, I should have checked that my guidance was accurately followed. I have asked the builder to remove all material related to my comments.’

The couple also appeared in a photo with the builder and architect in November when the builder was named as a 2021 Master Builders Australia finalist for extensions worth more than $1million on the couple’s home.

The testimonies were slammed by government sources as ‘absurd’ and ‘very odd’.

Labor MP Julian Hill described the testimonial as an error of judgment.

‘It needs to be corrected to maintain the dignity of the office. In the same way the Governor-General needs to remain above politics they need to remain above commercial interests,’ he told news.com.au.

A testimonial video for Homes by Howe featuring the Governor-General and his wife has come under from government sources and MPs

A testimonial video for Homes by Howe featuring the Governor-General and his wife has come under from government sources and MPs

Canberra builder Homes by Howe has a page devoted to the renovations done to the Governor-General's private home (pictured) on its website

Canberra builder Homes by Howe has a page devoted to the renovations done to the Governor-General’s private home (pictured) on its website

The Governor-General’s office said that while he and his wife agreed to appear in a video and photo for the builder in a private capacity, permission wasn’t sought for the material to be posted publicly.

‘The testimonial was provided in a private capacity, following work done on the Hurleys’ private home at their own expense. There was no payment, discount or any gifts in kind,’ a spokesman said.

‘The testimonial should not have included ‘Governor-General’ in its distribution.

‘Neither Buckingham Palace or the Prime Minister provide clearance on any activity (official or private) the Governor-General undertakes.’

The video testimony showed Governor-General Hurley explaining how they had worked on the project the builder for 18 months. 

‘We’re really delighted with the outcome and end product,’ he explained.

‘The entire time we’ve had a very positive and constructive relationship with Brendan and his crew. They’ve been very professional, we’ve been able to talk and we’ve got a great outcome.’

The Governor-General’s wife Linda also said a few words to heap praise on the builder.

The builder's website also has a written testimony from their famous client

The builder’s website also has a written testimony from their famous client

Homes by Howe was named as a 2021 Master Builders Australia finalist for extensions on the couple's home. The project was worth more than $1million

Homes by Howe was named as a 2021 Master Builders Australia finalist for extensions on the couple’s home. The project was worth more than $1million

‘Brendan has explained things clearly. He’s always had a smile on his face. He’s always been kind and he went out of his way to make me feel happy,’ she said.

‘And I feel really, really happy now. And I would like to say thank you for all the things he’s changed for us.

‘He’s produced a beautiful home which I look forward to living in.’

Who is David Hurley? 

Governor General David Hurley, 68, is Australia’s 27th representative of the monarch.

He is a Australian former senior officer in the Australian Army who served 42 years in the military before retiring in 2014.  

He was previously the 38th governor of NSW and served from 2014 to 2019.

July 1 will mark three years in the role as the Australian Governor General. 

A page devoted to the renovations of the Governor-General’s home remains on the Homes by Howe website, along with a short written testimony from their famous client.

‘It was a great honour to be trusted with the home extension for the Governor General’s private residence in Canberra. Delighted with the outcome, David Hurley, and his wife Linda, can continue to enjoy their memory filled home for years to come,’ the website states.

‘The art of a great home extension is in creating a seamless transition between the old and the new. This is where our high attention to detail shines through. For this extension and renovation, two thirds of the original house was demolished.’

The latest controversy comes just weeks after Governor-General Hurley was blasted for ‘disrespectful’ comments at the Queen‘s Platinum Jubilee.

Reporters had asked Australia’s representative of the monarch about the possibility of our nation becoming a republic while he was in England for the celebrations.

While the Governor General said the Queen had lots of ’emotional support’ from Australians, he believes that could change under the reign of a new monarch.

‘I think at the moment people centre on the Queen, and then when she goes, when she passes, then the succession comes in, there’s a new discussion in Australia,’ Mr Hurley replied.

His comments sparked a massive backlash back home with Ben Fordham leading the outrage. 

Governor General David Hurley (pictured swearing in minister Tanya Plibersek) is Australia's representative of the monarch

Governor General David Hurley (pictured swearing in minister Tanya Plibersek) is Australia’s representative of the monarch



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