Australia’s governor general, David Hurley, has apologised for a decision made “on the spur of a happy moment” to pose for a photo with and provide a testimonial for a builder who completed his home renovation, which was later used in the company’s advertising material on its website and social media.
Hurley said he had received no benefit for his comments or the photo, had never intended them to be used in commercial advertising and had not made reference to his position as the Queen’s representative.
hurley-spruiks-building-company-responsible-for-his-renovations/news-story/11d4f5b009acf59edf33061a7e3b244d” data-link-name=”in body link”>News.com.au reported on Tuesday that Hurley had been quoted in testimonials on the social media pages and website of the luxury builder Homes by Howe, which carried out renovations to the governor general’s private home.
“We’re really delighted with the outcome and end product,” the governor general said in a one-minute testimonial video which also features his wife, Linda.
After a backlash upon the news report’s publication, and questions reportedly being raised by the Albanese government, Hurley issued a statement of apology 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,” he said. “I apologise for my mistake.
“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.”
Hurley said he had asked the builder to remove all material related to his comments. A page on the company’s website which formerly carried quotes attributed to Hurley has been altered, with references to the governor general removed.
As of Wednesday morning, Homes by Howe’s Facebook page still features at least seven posts mentioning Hurley, from during and after the build, between 2019 and 2021.
“Homes by Howe are fortunate enough to be building the current Governor Generals private residence in the ACT,” reads one post from October 2019. “Truly a great honour and privilege. Thank you for trusting us with your home Linda and David.”
It features photos of Hurley being shown plans for the renovation, as workers guide him through the construction site.
A spokesperson for the governor general said Hurley was “not aware” that the photos taken in 2019 would appear on Facebook.
“We loved building and extending the Governor General’s private residence,” reads another post from October 2021, featuring a video of the finished renovation. “A great result for an amazing team. Thanks to everyone involved.”
The testimonial video of Hurley and his wife, as well as a posed photo of the pair with the company director Brendan Howe, also remain on Facebook.
Homes by Howe declined to comment when contacted on Wednesday morning.
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