Brendon Grylls

Brendon John Grylls (born 5 June 1973) is an Australian politician who was a National Party member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia from 2001 to 2017. Grylls became leader of the National Party in Western Australia from 2005 to 2013, and again from 2016, however he lost his seat at the state election in 2017.

Brendon Grylls
Brendon Grylls.jpg
Grylls in September 2011
13th Leader of the National Party
in Western Australia
In office
9 August 2016 – 11 March 2017
DeputyMia Davies
Preceded byTerry Redman
Succeeded byMia Davies
In office
21 June 2005 – 19 November 2013
DeputyTerry Waldron
Preceded byMax Trenorden
Succeeded byTerry Redman
Member of the Legislative Assembly
of Western Australia
In office
9 March 2013 – 11 March 2017
Preceded byTom Stephens
Succeeded byKevin Michel
In office
24 November 2001 – 6 September 2008
Preceded byHendy Cowan
Succeeded byNone (abolished)
In office
6 September 2008 – 9 March 2013
Preceded byNone (new seat)
Succeeded byMia Davies
ConstituencyCentral Wheatbelt
Personal details
Brendon John Grylls

(1973-06-05) 5 June 1973 (age 47)
Perth, Western Australia
Political partyNational

Grylls was born in Perth, but was raised in Corrigin, a small town in Western Australia's Wheatbelt region. A farmer and small business owner, he was elected to the Corrigin Shire Council in 2000, but resigned the following year to contest the 2001 state election, winning the seat of Merredin. Grylls was elected state leader of the National Party in 2005, replacing Max Trenorden. At the 2008 state election, his seat was abolished in a redistribution, and he transferred to the new seat of Central Wheatbelt. The Nationals won the overall balance of power, and Grylls subsequently chose to support Colin Barnett as premier, allowing the Liberal Party to form a minority government. Grylls was appointed Minister for Regional Development and Minister for Lands in the Barnett ministry.

At the 2013 state election, Grylls transferred from ultra-safe Central Wheatbelt to the traditionally Labor-held seat of Pilbara; the move by Grylls would later prove to be the turning point in his bid to hold a seat in the Western Australia MLA and was prompted by a political strategy to test the National's appeal to the regions.[1] He was the first National to win the seat, which has historically been a safe seat for the Labor Party. Grylls resigned both from the ministry and as leader of the National Party in November 2013, citing a desire to focus on his personal life. He returned as party leader in August 2016, replacing Terry Redman, and was re-appointed to the ministry. He was defeated by the Labor candidate Kevin Michel when re-contesting Pilbara at the 2017 state election.[2]


Early lifeEdit

Brendon Grylls was born on 5 June 1973 in Perth, Western Australia. He was educated at Corrigin District High School and Wesley College, Perth.[3][4]


His political career began in November 2001 when he contested and won a by-election caused by the retirement of the member for Merredin, former Nationals leader Hendy Cowan. Following a redistribution in 2008, Merredin was largely incorporated into the new Central Wheatbelt Electoral district.

Grylls served as the Shadow Minister for Environment and the Wheatbelt in the Liberal-National Coalition prior to the 2005 election. In June 2005 he successfully challenged then leader Max Trenorden to become the new leader of the Parliamentary National Party of Australia (WA).

After the 2008 state election, Grylls found himself in a position of power. The Labor Party government lost its majority, resulting in a hung parliament. Neither Premier Alan Carpenter nor Liberal opposition leader Colin Barnett could form a government without the support of the Nationals, leaving Grylls in a position where he could effectively choose the next premier. The WA Nationals do not necessarily follow the lead of their federal counterparts, so there was a possibility that Grylls would support Labor.

Ultimately, Grylls opted to throw his support to the Liberals. In return for his support, Grylls and two other Nationals agreed to accept posts in a Barnett cabinet. Unlike past Liberal-National Coalitions in Western Australia, however, the National ministers had only limited cabinet collective responsibility, and reserved the right to break with the Liberals on matters affecting their electorates. Additionally, second rank in the ministry went to Liberal deputy leader Kim Hames, another departure from past Coalitions. Unlike his predecessors in Government, Grylls had declined to become Deputy Premier of his own volition.

He vacated the Electoral district of Central Wheatbelt at the 2013 state election, and contested the Electoral district of Pilbara against Labor's Kelly Howlett, who had replaced the retiring sitting member Tom Stephens.[5] Grylls easily won with seat with 61.5% of the two-party-preferred vote.[6]

On 17 November 2013, Grylls announced he would be resigning as leader of the WA Nationals, and from the Barnett cabinet.[7] He retook the leadership in August 2016, and subsequently introduced a plan to tax BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto $5 for every tonne of iron ore mined (as opposed to $0.25 currently).[8] Grylls was defeated in Pilbara by the Labor candidate, Kevin Michel, and was subsequently replaced as leader of the National Party by Mia Davies, who had earlier succeeded him in Central Wheatbelt.

Political viewsEdit

After becoming party leader, Grylls pushed for an independent National Party and refused to enter into a coalition with either of the major parties before the 2008 state election.

During vote counting on election night, when it was apparent that the party was likely to hold a balance of power, possibly in both houses, Grylls reiterated his stance of requiring that the government deliver 25 per cent of mining and petroleum royalties for reinvestment in regional projects, as outlined in the Royalties for Regions policy. He also said that he would have no problem forming a coalition with the Labor Party if it promised to deliver under the policy.[9]

After the Liberal–National Coalition came to power, he implemented the Royalties for Regions scheme, which sees the equivalent of 25 per cent of the state's mining and petroleum royalty revenue (capped at $1 billion per annum) invested into Western Australia's regional infrastructure, services and projects.[10]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Zaunmayr, Tom (14 March 2017). "Defeated Grylls' job hunt to keep family in Pilbara". The West Australian. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  3. ^ "Hon. Brendon John Grylls MLA". Parliament of Western Australia. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  4. ^ Profile – The Nationals WA profile
  5. ^ "The fight is on for Nationals". Fairfax Media. 14 February 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  6. ^ "WA votes – Pilbara". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 9 March 2013. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  7. ^ "WA Nationals leader Brendon Grylls to stand down from leadership and ministry". ABC News. 17 November 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  8. ^ "WA Nationals: Brendon Grylls elected leader again after Terry Redman resigns". ABC News. 9 August 2016. Retrieved 12 February 2017.
  9. ^ "Grylls playing hard to get in WA power stakes". ABC News Online. 7 September 2008. Retrieved 9 September 2008.
  10. ^ "Department of the Premier and Cabinet – Hon Brendon Grylls MLA". Archived from the original on 23 March 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
Western Australian Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
Hendy Cowan
Member for Central Wheatbelt
Succeeded by
Mia Davies
Preceded by
Tom Stephens
Member for Pilbara
Succeeded by
Kevin Michel
Party political offices
Preceded by
Max Trenorden
Leader of the National Party
Succeeded by
Terry Redman
Preceded by
Terry Redman
Leader of the National Party
Succeeded by
Mia Davies