Bea­z­ley tip for gov­er­nor

The Sunday Times - - NEWS - JOE SPAGNOLO

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.

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