Kim Beazley appointed new WA governor

By AAP Newswire

Kim Beazley has been appointed Western Australia's 33rd governor and says he can put his republican beliefs aside while serving the Queen.

Speculation has mounted in recent months that the 69-year-old former deputy prime minister was destined for the role.

Not only was he considered the right kind of statesman, he mentored Premier Mark McGowan and strongly supported him when Stephen Smith challenged for the WA Labor leadership in 2016.

Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Mr Beazley immediately thanked Queen Elizabeth for approving Mr McGowan's recommendation, prompting the question of how his new role sat with his staunch republican views.

He replied he would compartmentalise those beliefs as he did as a US diplomat, and would resign from his role as an advisor to the Australian Republican Movement.

"You don't lose political convictions when you become a governor ... but you have to set them to one side," Mr Beazley said.

The Labor stalwart, who lost the 1998 and 2001 elections to John Howard, said he would not be able to speak out as frankly as he had in the past.

The father-of-three recently said he suspected US President Donald Trump was only pretending to be tough on Russia.

"But you can have your views and from time to time you do make speeches - you make them with the reticence the job requires," he said.

Mr Beazley said the appointment was both daunting and overwhelming.

"Which is, I suppose, an odd thing to say for somebody who has been in public life for as long as I have, but I am finding this at least as heavy as any of the challenges that I've faced to this point."

Mr McGowan denied favouring his friend of 24 years, saying Mr Beazley was the best person for the job and one of WA's most respected citizens.

"He was a good source of advice to me over many years and I appreciate that," the premier said.

"But let's get this straight - this appointment is very much one based on merit."

The appointment was applauded by politicians from both sides of politics, including Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

WA Opposition Leader Mike Nahan said while Mr Beazley had political affiliations, he had the experience, influence, international reputation and respect to fulfil the role with aplomb.