Mike Nahan will take over as WA Treasurer and first-term MP Dean Nalder will be Transport and Finance Minister after Premier Colin Barnett announced a Cabinet reshuffle this morning.
Dr Nahan thanked the Premier for the opportunity to oversee the State's finances.
The reshuffle was necessary after beleaguered former treasurer Troy Buswell resigned amid reports of illness and traffic incidents.
Dr Nahan said: "It is a challenging time but in WA we have an action plan."
This is a big promotion for Mr Nalder, who said he was humbled by the appointment.
Dr Nahan said it was a “challenging time” in WA but the Government had an “action plan” for the State’s finances.
“I’m very confident that we will have the State continue to grow rapidly,” he said.
Dr Nahan said that as a member of the economic and expenditure review committee of Cabinet, he had been heavily involved in the Budget process, which was progressing well despite the sudden departure of Mr Buswell.
Mr Barnett said Dr Nahan’s economic background would serve the state well.
“Mike Nahan has ... impressed me with his ability to work through complex financial and logistical matters in the energy and finance portfolios over the past year,” Mr Barnett said.
“I believe he will be an outstanding treasurer.”
Mr Nalder, who was elected as the member for Alfred Cove just over a year ago, said he was “excited and humbled” to have been elevated to cabinet and EERC.
“Once sworn in I’ve got to come up to speed as quickly as possible and look at the challenges that lay ahead,” he said.
Mr Nalder, who had a successful corporate career holding executive positions at ANZ and Australia Post before joining Parliament, said he believed skills honed in the business sector would be transferrable to his ministerial roles.
“In both the banking and Australia Post I had large businesses that I was responsible for – things around people, financial management, strategy, leadership and so forth,” he said.
Mr Nalder’s political pedigree was highlighted.
His grandfather Sir Crawford Nalder was a deputy premier and his father, Cambell, represented the National party in the seat of Narrogin.
Mr Barnett said there were backbenchers with more parliamentary experience than Mr Nalder who would feel disappointed at his elevation over them, but he wanted to keep the changes to portfolios to a minimum.
“Dean had the background and the qualifications to fit in, particularly with the finance portfolio,” he said.
“That allowed minimum change.”
Despite John McGrath's criticism of council mergers, Mr Barnett retained him as his parliamentary secretary.
The premier paid tribute to Mr Buswell, despite his controversial past and scandalous demise.
“Troy Buswell served the Liberal National government very well and we will miss his intellect and his capacity for hard work,” Mr Barnett said.
“I thank him for his enormous contribution to the state and wish him all the best for the future.”
The State opposition says Mr Nahan becomes the seventh change of treasurer in less than six years.
WA Labor leader Mark McGowan said that number was unprecedented in post-war history for the State.
“Under the Barnett government, Western Australia has been dealt a revolving door of treasurers,” Mr McGowan said.
“Today’s appointment of Mr Nahan means there has now been 14 changes in treasurer in the past 40 years - with half of them occurring under Mr Barnett.”