The head of the State Government department responsible for administering billions of dollars under the Royalties for Regions scheme will stand down following a performance review meeting with WA Nationals leader Terry Redman.
Mr Redman said yesterday that he was putting his stamp on the royalties scheme after the decision to part ways with Department of Regional Development director-general Paul Rosair.
Former Nationals leader Brendon Grylls appointed Mr Rosair to run the department when it was established five years ago.
Mr Rosair, considered one of Mr Grylls' key lieutenants, oversaw major expenditure on the Ord irrigation scheme expansion and the Pilbara cities and super towns projects.
Mr Redman said he wanted a change of leadership as part of a greater focus on major strategic investment to support economic development.
"I'm taking on leadership as the new minister and I'm seeing leadership change in the department as being important at this time given that there will be some changes in direction," he said.
"We came to a mutual agreement that now was the time to make that change."
Mr Rosair, who began his career in the public service as a 17-year-old, denied he had been pushed out of the $250,000-plus-a-year job.
The 57-year-old said he had been considering his options since Mr Grylls stood down from Cabinet late last year and was proud of his achievements with royalties for regions. "I thought I would see out five years until July 1 and then look for a new challenge beyond that," Mr Rosair said. "I put forward an option to serve three months notice and not leave him (Mr Redman) in the lurch.
"I've done the Ord, I've done Pilbara cities and the super towns programs. Royalties for Regions has been going for five years with bipartisan support at the last election. I had not a lot more left to prove."
Mr Rosair said he intended to honour his contract with the public service, which expires in March, but was looking for new challenges in the public, private or not-for-profit sectors.