Christopher Pyne consultants engaged by drone company

In other news:

  • Labor frontbench reshuffle
  • ASIC Chair to step down
  • Mark Gifford joins Tas EPA board

Christopher Pyne to boost growth of drone company

Christopher Pyne

A corporate strategic advice consultancy led by former Defence Minister Christopher Pyne will help an Australian drone company grow its presence in the defence and government sectors.

Pyne & Partners will support DroneShield’s executive team, identifying business development and strategic growth opportunities, and assist the Company’s aspirations to achieve Australian sovereign defence prime status, the company announced in a statement  to the ASX.

Pyne and Partners recently confirmed it was also working for Elbit Systems of Australia, a major supplier of military technology to the Australian Defence Force.

James Shipton to step down as ASIC chair

ASIC chair James Shipton will step down from his role at the corporate watchdog in coming months despite emerging unscathed from an expenses controversy.

James Shipton

Treasurer Josh Frydenburg last week said he had accepted a report that made no adverse findings against Mr Shipman, but both parties had agreed “that it is in the best interests of ASIC that he will step down as Chairperson of ASIC in the coming months”.

Mr Shipton stood aside last October after Auditor General Grant Hehir questioned a $118,500  payment he received for tax advice.

Mr Shipton later repaid the money and an investigation into the matter, submitted by Dr Vivienne Thom on December 17,  made no adverse findings against Mr Shipton or his then deputy Daniel Crennan.

However Mr Frydenburg said the government would implement significant changes to the governance of ASIC as a result of Dr Thom’s report.

“The review also concluded that the Treasury could improve its processes for managing the appointments of statutory officers under Treasury portfolio laws,” the Treasurer said.

“In response, the Secretary to the Treasury has moved to implement a new system immediately.”

Treasury is currently seeking a new ASIC chairperson.

Albo reshuffles frontbench

Kristina Keneally will take on additional responsibilities as Labor’s spokeswoman on government accountability under a cabinet reshuffle announced by Labor leader Anthony Albanese.

Kristina Keneally

Announcing the reshuffle last week, Mr Albanese said Ms Keneally would be “holding the government to account across the board for rorts and abuse of process”.

Deputry Richard Marles will take on a new job aimed at Covid recovery as opposition spokesman on national reconstruction, employment, skills and small business, as well as science.

Brendan O’Conner steps into Marles shoes in defence.

Former treasurer Chris Bowen will take over climate change and energy from Mark Butler, who gets health and ageing, with Julie Collins promoted to agriculture, and Madeleine King gets trade and resources.

Ed Husic becomes the newest member of the shadow cabinet with responsibility for industry and innovation.

New CEO at WA’s Great Southern Development Commission

Natasha Monks

Natasha Monks has been appointed as CEO of the Great Southern Development  Commission, replacing long-time head Bruce Manning.

Regional development minister Alannah MacTieranan paid tribute to Mr Manning, saying he had driven substantial diversification of the regions primary production and economic base during his 20 years as CEO.

Ms Monks most recently served as Australia’s trade commissioner to Peru.

Mark Gifford joins Tas EPA board

Mark Gifford

Former acting CEO and chief environmental regulator at the NSW EPA Mark Gifford has joined the board of the Tasmanian EPA for a three year term.

Public administrator Andrew Paul was announced as Chairperson of the Board with Belinda Hazell newly appointed as Deputy Chairperson. 

Mr Gifford is joined on the board by Ian Cresswell and Amanda Locatelli.

EPA Director, Wes Ford remains on the Board in a statutory position.

VLGA welcomes two new board members

Grace La Vella

The Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA) board has welcomed Cr Grace La Vella and Andrew Sloman.

Cr La Vella was elected to Central Goldfields Shire Council in 2020, after previously serving two terms as Councillor at Manningham City Council.

Andrew Sloman has over 30 years’ experience in both the delivery of risk advisory and internal audit services to local governments in Victoria and New Zealand, and is a member of the Richmond Football Club’s Risk, Compliance & Integrity Committee.

Lead contractor appointed for Kal City Centre project

City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder has appointed Ertech Civil Engineering to deliver a $16 million project to transform three Kalgoorlie CBD precincts.

The WA based company, which also worked on the Rockingham Beach Foreshore Revitalisation project, will work with local businesses and sub-conractors on procurement and employment opportunities.

The State government is contributing $8 million towards the Kal City Centre Project.

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