Redman ascension 'big shift' in fortune

Daniel EmersonThe West Australian

New Nationals leader Terry Redman admits a "big shift" in his fortunes since March when he was battling to hang on to his seat of Warren-Blackwood.

Mr Redman surprised Parliament yesterday by emerging from a marathon four-hour party room meeting, which was to begin a fortnight-long process to replace Brendon Grylls as leader, to announce the transition was complete.

_The West Australian _understands there was no vote, suggesting only Mr Redman nominated.

Flanked by colleagues, Mr Redman said the swift transition was evidence of a party which managed succession better than others.

"It wasn't a predatory process. I didn't seek out the position," he said.

"Brendon made the decision to stand down and it is my intention to carry on the legacy that he has left and build on the success we have already had in the past five years."

Mr Redman, who overcame unfavourable preference flows in his seat to win a third term, said in many ways he had "fallen into this" having not started out as a leadership aspirant.

Even without a commitment from Premier Colin Barnett, Mr Redman was "confident" the Nationals would retain Mr Grylls' portfolio of Regional Development. The party would elect a deputy leader and decide who would step into the ministry on Tuesday.

Mr Redman said he had a good relationship with Mr Barnett that he intended to continue.

Though describing the Nationals as an "independent country party", he predicted it would seek a third alliance government with the Liberals at the 2017 election.

But three-cornered contests pitting the parties against one another would be repeated.

Mr Redman paid tribute to Mr Grylls' "visionary leadership". "I trust he will continue to provide valuable guidance to myself and party members as he represents his constituents as the Member for Pilbara," he said.

Mr Barnett said he intended to keep Cabinet portfolio changes to a minimum.

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