Kim Beazley's term as Australian Ambassador to the United States will be extended by a year.
Mr Beazley's five year term was to finish at the end of this year, but he will now stay on until the end of 2015.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Mr Beazley had done a fine job as Australia's man in Washington DC.
"I have said it before, let me say it again, I think Kim Beazley is one of the really outstanding individuals; one of the really outstanding individuals to be in our Parliament and never be prime minister," Mr Abbott said.
The West Australian understands that the Abbott Government has been particularly impressed at the way Mr Beazley, 65, has been able to project the Abbott Government's foreign policy priorities into Barack Obama's US administration.
Well respected by Democrats and Republicans alike, Mr Beazley has also secured the new Government access at the highest levels in the US Government.
"We trust him," one senior member of the Government told The West Australian.
The Government believes that it is best for the next ambassador to the US to begin his or her term after the Democrat and Republican presidential candidates become clear, which should be late next year.
Mr Beazley's extended term comes as the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade moves diplomats to four-year stints rather than three years.
The theory here is that short postings are not getting the best of diplomats because it they need at least 12 months to settle in and their last 12 months are spend transitioning the hand-over.