News State Western Australia Kim Beazley named new governor of Western Australia

Kim Beazley named new governor of Western Australia

WA Premier Mark McGowan and the state's new governor, Labor stalwart Kim Beazley. Photo: AAP
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Former federal Labor leader and US ambassador Kim Beazley has been announced as the 33rd governor of Western Australia.

Mr Beazley will replace Kerry Sanderson, who became Governor in late 2014 and is preparing to step down from the position.

Describing him as “one of WA’s most respected citizens”, Premier Mark McGowan said Mr Beazley had been appointed following the Queen’s approval of his recommendation.

He will be sworn in during a ceremony on May 1.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull congratulated Mr Beazley on his appointment, calling it a “great choice”.

Mr Beazley said it was an enormous privilege to be able to serve the people of WA.

“It’s daunting, it’s overwhelming, which is I suppose an odd thing to say for someone who has been in public life for as long as I have,” he said. “But I am finding this at least as heavy as any of the challenges that I’ve faced to this point.

I am looking forward to getting to understand the role of governor over the course of the next few months.

“If I do it half as well as the incumbent, then I will do a pretty good job”

Mr Beazley said a governor had immense responsibilities and no power.

“That’s going to be part of the challenge. You’re in a situation where you can give advice to a government, you can for one expression warn a government, [but] everything you do in that regard is done in private,” he said.

Mr Beazley wrapped up a five-year stint as US ambassador in January 2016 after being appointed to the role by the Rudd government.

He was deputy prime minister under Paul Keating from 1995-1996 before going on to serve two terms as federal opposition leader, from 1996-2001 and 2005-2006.

Labor lost the 1998 and 2001 elections under Mr Beazley, while his second tenure ended when he was toppled by Kevin Rudd in a Labor leadership spill.

Mr Beazley entered Federal Parliament in 1980 and represented the electorates of Swan and Brand before retiring as an MP in 2007.

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