Kim Beazley to be sworn in as WA’s new Governor today

Premier Mark McGowan with new Governor Kim Beazley.
Premier Mark McGowan with new Governor Kim Beazley.

FORMER deputy prime minister Kim Beazley will be officially sworn in as Western Australia’s 33rd Governor today.

The former federal Labor opposition leader and ambassador to the US replaces ex-Fremantle Port Authority chief executive Kerry Sanderson, who in 2014 was the first woman appointed to the role in WA.

Mr Beazley, 69, was recommended by his friend of 24 years, WA Premier Mark McGowan, and is the first ex-politician to become governor in WA since Sir James Mitchell, who was appointed in 1948.

The vast majority of WA’s governors have been ex-military.

When he was appointed last month, Mr Beazley, whose daughter Hannah followed him into politics, said he couldn’t think of a more honoured way to conclude his career.

His selection was applauded across the political spectrum, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull labelling it “a great choice”, while opposition leader Bill Shorten described him as “a person of profound intellect, boundless good humour and tremendous decency”.

Noting Mr Beazley’s “political affiliations”, WA opposition leader Mike Nahan said he had the experience, influence, international reputation and respect to fulfil the role with aplomb.

Mr Beazley has vowed to speak out strongly in a bid to get a better GST deal for the state, warning the imbalance threatened the unity of the federation.

Mr Beazley also says he can put his republican beliefs aside while serving the Queen.

Having had the misfortune of being opposition leader during John Howard’s long reign, Mr Beazley has been referred to as “the best prime minister we never had”.

– AAP