Premier expresses disdain over Margaret Court Australia Day honour

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says he does not support the recognition of tennis great Margaret Court in the Australia Day honours list.

Court is set to be made a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AC) on Tuesday, for her success as a player and as a mentor to athletes.

Mr Andrews hit out at the decision to honour Court today, while adding he was “sick of talking about that person every summer”.

Margaret Court at the 2017 Australian Open. (Getty)

“I do not support that,” Mr Andrews said.

“You know my views on a whole range of issues. I don’t believe she has views that accord with the vast majority of people across our nation, that see people particularly people from the LGTBI community, as equal and deserving of dignity, respect and safety.

“I don’t believe she shares those views and I don’t believe she should be honoured because of that. I would prefer not to be giving oxygen to some of these views.”

Premier Daniel Andrews has slammed the decision to honour Margaret Court. (Nine)

Court has long been criticised for her stance on same-sex marriage and homosexuality, leading to calls for Margaret Court Arena at Melbourne Park to be renamed.

The premier did not hold back expressing is disdain over the honour, telling reporters they had to ask the Council of the Order of Australia about “why those views which are disgraceful, hurtful and cost lives should be honoured”.

“I think calling out bigotry is always important,” he said.

He then later reiterated his disapproval of the honour on Twitter: “Grand Slam wins don’t give you some right to spew hatred and create division. Nothing does,” he wrote.

Honours lists are sent under embargo to media outlets prior to Australia Day for preparation purposes.

But the news Court was set to be honoured was made public on social media this morning by a Melbourne columnist, who said ‘other sources’ had made him aware of the decision.

It was then reported widely by media outlets.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the decision to award Court an Australian Day honour was a “completely independent” process.

Mr Morrison declined to provide any further comment or view on the matter.

“I can’t comment on an award that’s done through an independent process that hasn’t been announced or I have no official knowledge of,” he said.

“It is an announcement that will be announced on that day. It is a system that recognises the full spectrum of individuals across this country.”

The website of the Governor-General states that people are appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for “eminent achievement and merit of the highest degree in service to Australia or to humanity at large”.

Court holds 24 major singles titles and has previously been named an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2007 for her success.

The Council for the Order of Australia is the independent body that considers nominations for appointments and awards in the Australia Day honours.

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