Quentin Bryce.
Quentin Bryce. Chris Ison

Tony Abbott brings back Knighthood and Dame titles

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has awarded Governor-General Designate General Peter Cosgrove - who will become Australia's new Governor-General today - a Knighthood.

And Mr Abbott has named current Governor-General Quentin Bryce a Dame, reintroducing Knighthoods and Dame Titles in the Order of Australia.

"My intention is that this new award will go to those who have accepted public office rather than sought it; and who can never, by virtue of the office they have held, entirely return to private life," Mr Abbott said.

The new rules also allow up to four Knights or Dames to be named in any year, to recognise "extraordinary and pre-eminent achievement and merit" in their service to Australia.

Mr Abbott recommended to the Queen to amend Letters Patent to allow him to name Knights and Dames, if approved by the Crown.

The change has allowed the Prime Minister to designate new special recognitions.

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