|24th Premier of Western Australia |
25 February 1988 –12 February 1990
|Preceded by||Brian Burke|
|Succeeded by||Carmen Lawrence|
|Constituency|| North Province |
Peter M'Callum Dowding
6 October 1943
|Political party||Labor Party|
Peter M'Callum Dowding SC (born 6 October 1943 in Melbourne) is a lawyer and former politician who served as the 24th Premier of Western Australia, from 25 February 1988 until his resignation on 12 February 1990 after an internal party dispute.
The son of Presbyterian minister and activist Keith Dowding, he was educated at three independent schools: Caulfield Grammar School, in Melbourne, The Scots College, in Sydney and Hale School, in Perth. He earned a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Western Australia in 1964.
Dowding was elected as a member of Western Australia's Legislative Council for the Labor Party from 1979 to 1986 representing the North Province and, in 1986, was elected as the member for Maylands in the Legislative Assembly.
Having succeeded Brian Burke as premier on 25 February 1988, during the time known as the WA Inc period, he was involved in unravelling a number of business transactions. At the 1989 state election he led the ALP to its third consecutive victory; but later, as the government's position in the polls deteriorated, he resigned from the premiership on 12 February 1990. Carmen Lawrence succeeded him, becoming the first female premier of any Australian state. A royal commission later found that:
Mr Dowding, as premier, presided over a disastrous series of decisions designed to support Rothwells when it was or should have been clear to him and to those ministers closely involved that Rothwells was no longer a viable financial institution. This culminated in the decision to involve the Government, through WAGH, in the Kwinana petrochemical project as a means of removing the Government's contingent liability for certain of the debts of Rothwells. Electoral advantage was preferred to the public interest.
Dowding has worked for several law firms during his career, and has specialised as a barrister in the areas of family and native-title law. In 2002, he was appointed as Senior Counsel in Western Australia. He was a recipient of a Centenary Medal in 2001.
Carmen Mary Lawrence is an Australian academic and former politician who was the Premier of Western Australia from 1990 to 1993, the first woman to become the premier of an Australian state. A member of the Labor Party, she later entered federal politics as a member of the House of Representatives from 1994 to 2007, and served as a minister in the Keating Government.
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John Mansfield Brumby is the current Chancellor of La Trobe University and former Victorian Labor Party politician who was Premier of Victoria from 2007 to 2010. He became leader of the Victorian Labor Party and premier after the resignation of Steve Bracks. He also served as the Minister for Veterans' Affairs and the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. He contested his first election as premier at the November 2010 Victorian state election. His government was defeated by the Liberal/National Coalition led by Ted Baillieu. Brumby resigned as Labor leader after the election, on 30 November, to be replaced by Daniel Andrews. Within weeks of this leadership change, Brumby left parliament, with a Broadmeadows by-election taking place on 19 February 2011.
WA Inc was a political scandal in Western Australia. In the 1980s, the state government, which was led for much of the period by premier Brian Burke, engaged in business dealings with several prominent businessmen, including Alan Bond, Laurie Connell, Dallas Dempster, John Roberts, and Warren Anderson. These dealings resulted in a loss of public money, estimated at a minimum of $600 million and the insolvency of several large corporations.
Lawrence Robert ('Laurie') Connell was a Western Australian business entrepreneur. As chairman of the Rothwells merchant bank, he was well known for his dealings with the Government of Western Australia and his close relationships with a former premier of Western Australia, Brian Burke, and with entrepreneur Alan Bond, during the WA Inc period in the mid to late 1980s.
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The Dowding Ministry was the 30th Ministry of the Government of Western Australia, and was led by Labor Premier Peter Dowding and his deputy, David Parker. It succeeded the Burke Ministry on 25 February 1988, upon the retirement of Brian Burke from politics on the fifth anniversary of his becoming Premier.
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David Charles Parker is a former Australian politician from Western Australia, serving as a minister in the Burke Ministry (1983–1988), then as Deputy Premier in the Dowding Ministry (1988–1990). He later served a jail term for perjury for evidence given to the WA Inc royal commission.
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Barry James Hodge is a former Australian politician who was a Labor Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1977 to 1989, representing the seat of Melville.
Gordon Leslie Hill is a former Australian politician who was a Labor Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1982 to 1994. He served as a minister in the governments of Brian Burke, Peter Dowding and Carmen Lawrence.
David Lawrence Smith is a former Australian politician who was a Labor Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1983 to 1996. He served as a minister in the governments of Peter Dowding and Carmen Lawrence.
Jeffrey Phillip Carr is a former Australian politician who was a Labor Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 1974 to 1991, representing the seat of Geraldton. He served as a minister in the governments of Brian Burke, Peter Dowding, and Carmen Lawrence.
Oscar Neil Blackburne Oliver ED was an Australian politician who was a Liberal Party member of the Legislative Council of Western Australia from 1977 to 1989, representing West Province.