Local government leaders farewelled

In other news:

  • Senior bureaucrats appointed in Queensland
  • Former research assistant become CSIRO Chief Scientist
  • New director at Lismore Gallery

Two of Australia’s most respected and influential local government leaders were farewelled at ALGA’s national general assembly.

Greg Hallam

They included LGAQ CEO Greg Hallam, who is retiring in November after leading the organisation for almost three decades.

Addressing delegates in Canberra on June 22, ALGA’s National President Linda Scott thanked Mr Hallam for the work he has done over the years for local government.

“Greg has been the CEO of that organisation for just under 30 years and worked with seven different premiers during his time,” Cr Scott said.

“That is a remarkable record. His achievements for the LGAQ have been astonishing and he is an absolute legend.”

Earlier this month LGAQ president Mark Jamieson announced Alison Smith, who is currently serving as the association’s Head of Advocacy, would replace Mr Hallam in the role following a nationwide recruitment process.

Cr Scott also used the conference to farewell ALGA’s long-time CEO Adrian Beresford-Wylie who is retiring after 15 years.

Cr Scott hailed Mr Beresford-Wylie as a passionate public servant with an interest in roads and infrastructure and emergency management, and a committed advocate for the constitutional recognition of local government.

“He has behind the scene done more work for us than you can possibly imagine,” she said.

“Most significanctly in making the Roads to Recovery program.. a critical permanent funding stream for councils.”

The CEO of LGASA, Matt Pinnegar, has been appointed to take over the reins from Mr Beresford-Wylie.

Senior bureaucrats appointed in QLD

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has welcomed the appointment of three directors-general.

Mike Kaiser

Queensland’s deputy under treasurer Graham Fraine has been appointed director general of the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water. Dr Fraine has 27 years’ experience in public policy, program development and service delivery across state and local government and previously held deputy director-general roles within the Departments of Premier and Cabinet and the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Former NBN executive and KPMG partner Mike Kaiser, who has been acting director-general with the Department of Resources since January 2021, takes a permanent position in the role.

John Lee, a former director-general at the NSW DPC and Department of Commerce, has been appointed director general of the Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport. Mr Lee has been acting in the role since 2020 and has held chief executive roles with Australian Sailing, South Sydney Rabbitohs, Tourism & Transport Forum and Sydney Busses & Transport NSW.

Six new NSW parliamentary secretaries

Deputy Premier John Barilaro has announced six new parliamentary secretary roles across water infrastructure, regional health, regional housing, agriculture, forestry, regional tourism, energy and the arts. 

Steph Cooke

The new Parliamentary Secretary appointments are:

Sam Farraway MLC, Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Premier and for Water Infrastructure

Steph Cooke MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Health

Stephen Bromhead MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Housing

Ben Franklin MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for Energy and the Arts

Chris Gulaptis MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture and Forestry

Geoff Provest MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Tourism and Hospitality

“These Members of Parliament already have a proven track record of serving as dedicated and effective Parliamentary Secretaries and I want to welcome Sam Farraway who is stepping into the role for the first time,” Mr Barilaro said.

Former research assistant appointed CSIRO chief scientist

Australia’s national science agency has appointed Professor Bronwyn Fox as Chief Scientist, almost 30 years after she began her career with CSIRO as a research assistant.

Bronwyn Fox

Professor Fox, CSIRO’s fourth female Chief Scientist, joins the agency from Swinburne University of Technology, where she is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise).

As a materials and engineering scientist, Professor Fox was the founding director of Swinburne’s Manufacturing Futures Research Institute.

“It is wonderful to return to CSIRO as chief scientist after starting as a 22-year-old research assistant, and to be able to champion science research and capability, working with industry and fostering STEM careers,” Professor Fox said.

Professor Fox is Chair of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (Victorian Division), a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

Lismore names new GM and new gallery head

Ashleigh Ralph

Lismore City Council’s acting general manager Michael Donnelly has been named as the preferred candidate for the job.

Mr Donnelly, who will be appointed on a four-year- contract, said he looked forward to introducing more efficiences at Council.

“Since I took up the acting position in February, as a Council we have achieved a lot but there is still more to be done to provide better services and meet the community’s expectations,” he said.

Meanwhile, Lismore City Mayor Vanessa Ekins has announced that Ashleigh Ralph has been appointed as the new director of the Lismore Regional Gallery, effective from 28 June.

“I am very excited about Ashleigh joining us to help guide the gallery into the future. We had lots of applications for the role and Ashleigh was the stand-out choice,” Cr Ekins said.

Before taking up the position, Ashleigh was the Assistant Director, Development and Operations at the Institute of Modern Art (IMA) in Brisbane. 

Ms Ralph said she was looking forward to bringing fresh energy to the gallery and working with the local indigenous people.

Established in 1953, Lismore Regional Gallery is one of the oldest regional galleries in NSW.

New Board Members appointed at VLGA

The VLGA has weolcomed Cr Josh Fergeus, of Monash City Council and Cr Steve Holland of  Mornington Peninsula Shire Council to their board for a three year period commencing 1 July 2021. 

The VLGA has also farewelled its current president, Lambros Tapinos, whose term expires on 30 June 2021.

Office bearers for the new board will be elected at their August meeting.

New CEO at Port Arthur authority

The Tasmanian Government has announced the appointment of Jonathan Fisher as Chief Executive Officer of the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (PAHSMA).

Jonathan Fisher

PAHSMA is entrusted to conserve and maintain the World Heritage values of Port Arthur, the Cascades Female Factory and the Coal Mines Historic Sites, while also promoting them as tourist destinations.

Mr Fisher’s first task in the role will be to oversee the authority’s recovery program to benefit the sites, visitors and staff post-COVID-19.

He replaces former CEO Mr Stephen Large who departed PAHSMA in late 2020.

Mr Fisher will take up his five-year appointment on June 28.

Chair appointed for new Victorian ports body

Former secretary of the Victorian Department of Infrastructure and Department of Business and Innovation Howard Ronaldson will chair a new statewide ports body.

Ports Victoria brings together the Victorian Regional Channels Authority (VRCA) and Victorian Ports Corporation (Melbourne) and will lead the strategic management and operation of Victorian commercial ports and waterways.

Mr Ronaldson has also been an administrator with Ambulance Victoria and most recently assessed the viability of the Port Rail Shuttle proposal for the Department of Transport.

Elaine Carbines has been chosen as the new deputy Chairperson for the board.

The new organisation will begin operating out of Geelong on 1 July, recognising the city’s important role in Victoria’s ports system.

Peter Severin steps down

Peter Severin

Commissioner of Corrective Services NSW, Peter Severin, after giving 41 years of his life to corrective services, including nearly a decade of service in NSW, .

Corrections minister Anthony Roberts said Mr Severin had previously indicated his intention to retire in early 2020 but agreed to postpone it after the state was overwhelmed by a series of disasters including covid-19.

Commissioner Severin, who joined Corrective Services NSW as the new Commissioner on in 2012, was instrumental in delivering the $3.8 billion prison bed capacity program.

He will retire on 31 July 2021.

Senior lawyers recruited for government disputes practice

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has recruited three senior lawyers for its Canberra-based regulatory, civil and commercial disputes team.

Laura Crick

Laura Crick, Jiadi Liang and Chris Brinley have joined the firm’s national government practice, which has acted in a series of recent high profile matters, including the ACCC’s successful pursuit in the Federal Court of Google over the use of personal location data, and ASIC’s highest ever single enforcement penalty against AGM Markets.

Ms Crick Laura is an experienced public law and litigation lawyer who has worked primarily for Commonwealth Government clients for nine years. She has also worked in-house at the National Disability Insurance Agency.

Ms Liang is an experienced public law and litigation lawyer who has spent more than six years working with Commonwealth, ACT and private sector clients. She regularly advises and represents government and private sector clients on a wide range of administrative law, commercial law, common law, regulatory and dispute resolution issues. She has also worked for the ACT Government Solicitor and was seconded to the Department of Environment and the ACT Asbestos Taskforce.

Mr Brinley is a former federal prosecutor at the Commonwealth DPP with experience advising the Commonwealth on regulatory disputes, administrative law proceedings and criminal or white collar crime prosecutions. Prior to that he worked at Clayton Utz, advising various government departments on commercial dispute strategy and statutory interpretation.

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