Terry Redman has been elected as the new leader of the WA Nationals, replacing Brendon Grylls who yesterday confirmed he would step down from the Nationals leadership and from state cabinet.
Mr Redman was widely tipped to replace Mr Grylls, whose decision to retire to the backbench at the age of 40 came as a surprise to many observers.
"It gives me great pleasure to have been elected to this role and I look forward to building on the success we have made in the last five years," Mr Redman told reporters today.
"It is not a position I have aspired to, although some people do. I fell into this position and will give all my priorities to further the good work that has been done in the Nationals' leadership role."
Mr Redman was elected to parliament in 2005 as the member for Stirling and was one of three Nationals MPs appointed to cabinet when the Liberal-Nationals alliance formed government at the 2008 election.
He became deputy leader of the WA Nationals earlier this year and currently holds ministerial responsibility for training and workforce development, water and forestry.
Mr Grylls yesterday backed Mr Redman as a capable successor to guide the party in the years ahead.
He said he felt the time was right to step down now that he had ensured the survival of the Royalties for Regions program beyond the most recent state election and expressed a desire to spend more time with his young family.
Premier Colin Barnett has refused to be drawn on Mr Grylls' desire to see the new Nationals leader retain the key regional development portfolio, although he has confirmed that the cabinet vacancy created by Mr Grylls' resignation will be filled by a Nationals MP under the terms of the alliance between the Liberal and National parties.