Child abuse protests to mar Queen's tour

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The Independent Online

Just before 1pm local time today, the Queen's jet will touch down at Adelaide airport at the start of what promises to be one of the more interesting tours of her reign.

Waiting to greet her will be Australia's governor general, Peter Hollingworth, who is at the centre of a controversy about child sex abuse. By his side will be the Prime Minister, John Howard, who has supported him.

The Queen will have a private audience with her representative this afternoon. Dr Hollingworth, who has been lambasted for his handling of sexual abuse cases when he was Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane, is expected to tell her he has no intention of standing down.

They will not meet again until Sunday, when the governor general bids her farewell in Brisbane at the end of her tour of Queensland and South Australia. But the scandal looks set to follow the Queen around the country, with child abuse campaigners vowing to hound her at every turn.

Dr Hollingworth, who resigned as archbishop last year to become governor general, has been accused of protecting three priests who were the subject of sexual abuse allegations in the 1990s. He has admitted to errors of judgement, and has acknowledged a cash settlement that included a secrecy clause was agreed with victims of abuse at one school.

The Queen is expected to visit the Barossa Valley wine-growing area in South Australia and meet corgi breeders before attending the the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Coolum, Queensland, on Saturday.

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