The events of November 1975 sparked off lively debate as to what the Governor-General does. The real point at issue in that controversy was not whether a Governor-General has the power to dismiss a Prime Minister. The fact that the power was exercised is proof that the power exists. The question to be asked is whether the Govenor-General was justified by the facts as he saw and interpreted them, and, if he were justified, whether he was wise to use the power.
There is a difference between an extreme situation and a customary action. The controversy over the dismissal of a Prime Minister concentrated attention on one aspect, but in this lucid essay Sir Paul Hasluck sets out the wide range of the Governor-General's duties and the place of office in the whole structure of Australian government.