He has been nominated by the Liberal Party but as the post requires a vote of the parliament, the job’s not official yet.
Premier Colin Barnett confirmed Mr Sutherland’s nomination Tuesday, along with a reshuffled cabinet which contains five news faces.
Mr Sutherland’s time in the chair is likely to be less fraught than that of his predecessor, now-retired Nationals MP Grant Woodhams, who had a hung parliament to contend with.
The new parliament is overwhelmingly Liberal.
Still, the post is a highly sought after prize, carrying with it ministerial-style responsibility for managing the Legislative Assembly.
Mr Sutherland—deputy speaker in the previous parliament—batted off a challenge from former police minister Rob Johnson, who publicly claimed he’d already been promised the job, and Kingsley MP Andrea Mitchell.
The speaker traditionally takes a low public profile.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK