Role of the Governor

The Governor of Western Australia is appointed by the Queen on the advice of the Premier.

The Governor’s role is broad and includes responsibilities related to:

  • The constitution
  • Ceremonial and celebratory Representation as Head of State in W.A
  • The community
  • Advocacy on behalf of the State

The constitutional laws of Western Australia provide for a Governor to represent the Sovereign (currently Queen Elizabeth II) as the Head of State. Each Australian State has a Governor, with a Governor-General overseeing the Commonwealth of Australia.

The Governor is appointed on the advice of the Premier and may be dismissed only by the Sovereign on the advice of the Premier. The Governor acts on the advice of the Premier, Ministers and Executive Council.

Before the granting of self-government to Western Australia, Governors were appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the United Kingdom Government.

The Governor is now no longer subject to the control, supervision or veto of the Sovereign or the United Kingdom Government, since the Australia Acts were passed in 1986 by the Commonwealth Parliament and the Parliament of the United Kingdom, at the request of all State Parliaments.

The Governor’s role is apolitical and includes important constitutional, ceremonial, representational and community functions. The Governor advocates for the State’s strategic interests and capabilities.

Constitutional

The Governor protects the Constitution, and presides over Executive Council, the supreme decision making body of the State Government which usually meets fortnightly. The Governor appoints the President of the Legislative Council and all State Government Ministers, judges, magistrates and justices of the peace.

All Bills passed by the Western Australian parliaments must be signed by the Governor before they become law.

Any vote, resolution or Bill requiring the spending of public money cannot be passed by the Western Australian Parliament unless the Governor recommends its approval to the Legislative Assembly. In these matters the Governor will act on the advice of the Premier of the State of Western Australia.

Ceremonial and celebratory occasions

The Governor represents the Queen. As such the Governor officiates at important ceremonial and celebratory functions such as the Anzac Day ceremony, investiture ceremonies, the conferral of awards, memorial services, and the opening of State Parliament.

Representation

The Governor is the Head of State of Western Australia and represents the people of Western Australia in welcoming visiting Heads of State, royalty, ambassadors, spiritual leaders, members of the consular corps of Western Australia, and members of the general public who serve the State.

The community

The Governor is the Patron of many worthy organisations in Western Australia and supports them in pursuit of their objectives through visits, attendance at functions and hospitality.

Furthermore, the Governor seeks to ensure that the community has the opportunity to interact with the Office of Governor through regular Open Days at Government House and by providing access for the public to the grounds of Government House.

Advocacy

The Governor has a key role in engaging with a diverse range of people and organisations both within and outside of Western Australia with the aim of promoting the strategic interests and capabilities of the State. To this end the Governor regularly engages with visiting international dignitaries, diplomats and members of the business, mining, agricultural, medical, scientific, arts and community service sectors.
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