Beazley tip for governor
KIM Beazley is a frontrunner to become WA’s next governor, with Kerry Sanderson likely to stand down from the position next year.
The Sunday Times understands Mr Beazley, a former Federal Labor leader and ambassador to the US, is Premier Mark McGowan’s preferred candidate for the role.
Ms Sanderson was appointed WA’s first female governor three years ago and is likely to finish up next year.
Mr McGowan confirmed he had sought permission from Buckingham Palace to extend Ms Sanderson’s tenure.
“The Premier is currently corresponding with Buckingham Palace regarding an extension of the Governor’s appointment for a further six months,” a spokesman for Mr McGowan said yesterday.
“This would extend the term of Her Excellency, the Honourable Kerry Gaye Sanderson AC into the middle of next year.
“This is a decision for the Palace.”
If his appointment is confirmed, Mr Beazley will be WA’s 33rd Governor.
Mr McGowan would not comment on Mr Beazley replacing Ms Sanderson, but in the past the Premier has not hidden his admiration for Mr Beazley.
In his maiden speech to Parliament in 1997, Mr McGowan said Mr Beazley was “one of the greatest men I have ever met” who had provided him with “immeasurable assistance”. On the night he won this year’s State election, Mr McGowan also acknowledged his “friend and mentor” Mr Beazley.
Mr Beazley too has been a strong supporter of Mr McGowan, backing him as leader last year when former foreign affairs minister Stephen Smith emerged as a leadership contender.
A spokesman for Mr McGowan said: “The Premier will consider potential future candidates for the position (of WA Governor) as required.”
“This is ongoing,” the spokesman said.
Perth burns specialist Dr Fiona Wood has also been named by sources as a possible replacement.
Mr Beazley could not be reached for comment.