February 25, 1988 to February 12, 1990
Peter Dowding was born in Melbourne and educated in the Eastern States before commencing at Hale School in West Perth in 1957.
He graduated in law from the University of Western Australia in 1964 and was articled with T.J Hughes and Co. He was admitted to the Bar in 1966 practising in the areas of family and criminal law.
In 1972, he was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to examine the provision of legal services through community legal services and legal aid.
In 1976, he gave a year to the Aboriginal Legal Service in Port Hedland. The following year he ran and won a major case in the Court of Disputed Returns for Labor politician Ernie Bridge in the Kimberley that challenged the ballot results for that seat. It has become an historically important case.
Dowding also spent his early legal career representing unions and Vietnam war objectors.
In 1979, he won the seat of North Province in the Upper House. In 1986, he was elected to the Legislative Assembly as the member for Maylands. He was appointed Minister for Mines, Fuel and Energy. During his parliamentary career he held other portfolios including Consumer Affairs, Employment and Training and Industrial Relations.
He was Premier and Treasurer from 1988 to 1990. He resigned in 1990 during the fallout from former Premier Brian Burke's WA Inc deals.
The Labor Party appointed Dr Carmen Lawrence to replace him.