The Info List - Peter Dowding

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Peter M'Callum Dowding SC (born 6 October 1943 in Melbourne) was the 24th Premier of Western Australia, serving 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
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 Australian Labor Party
Australian 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
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
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.[1]

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
Senior Counsel
in Western Australia. He was a recipient of a Centenary Medal in 2001. See also[edit]

Dowding Ministry List of Caulfield Grammar School
Caulfield Grammar School

External links[edit]

Constitutional Centre of Western Australia
Western Australia
entry on Peter Dowding


^ Report of the Royal Commission to inquire whether there has been (a) corruption; (b) illegal conduct; or (c) improper conduct, by any person or corporation in the affairs, investment decisions and business dealings of the Government of Western Australia
Western Australia
or its agencies, instrumentalities and corporations, part II, page 22

Parliament of Western Australia

Preceded by Brian Burke Premier of Western Australia 1988–1990 Succeeded by Carmen Lawrence

Leader of the Labor Party 1988–1990

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Premiers of Western Australia

Forrest Throssell Leake Morgans Leake James Daglish Rason Moore Wilson Scaddan Wilson Lefroy Colebatch Mitchell Collier Mitchell Collier Willcock Wise McLarty Hawke Brand Tonkin C. Court O'Connor Burke Dowding Lawrence R. Court Gallop Carpenter Barnett McGowan

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Leaders of the Labor Party in Western Australia

Hastie Daglish Johnson Bath Scaddan Collier Willcock Wise Hawke Tonkin Jamieson Davies Burke Dowding Lawrence Taylor McGinty Gallop Carpenter Ripper McGowan

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WA Inc



Bell Group Bond Corporation John Curtin Foundation Fremantle Gas and Coke Company Rothwells


Government Employees Superannuation Board State Energy Commission of Western Australia State Government Insurance Commission City of Stirling Western Australian Development Corporation



Joe Berinson Brian Burke Terry Burke Peter Dowding Julian Grill Bob Hawke Carmen Lawrence Ray O'Connor David Parker Bob Pearce


Warren Anderson Alan Bond Laurie Connell Dallas Dempster Yosse Goldberg Robert Holmes à Court Ernest Lee-Steere Kevin Parry John Roberts


Paul Barry Alan Carpenter Geoff Gallop Bob Maumill Patrick O'Brien Paul Murray Trevor Sykes

Royal Commission


Peter Brinsden Geoffrey Kennedy Ronald Wilson

Counsel, etc

Michael Barker Paul Finn Brian Martin Tony Templeman


Bond/R&I Tower Burswood Casino Central Park Kwinana Petrochemical Plant Observation City Westralia Square

Authority control

WorldCat Identit