Tony Abbott joins War Memorial board

In other news:

  • First woman appointed as NSW Government Architect
  • Four more years of administration for outback council
  • Former Queensland mayor to review councillor pay rates

Tony Abbott appointed to war memorial

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott is joining the board of the Australian War Memorial.

Tony Abbott

Minister for Veterans Affairs Darren Chester said Mr Abbott’s appointment came as the Memorial is being upgraded to tell the stories of more recent  conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Solomon Islands and East Timor.

“The Australian Government recently announced an investment of almost $500 million to be able to display more of the Australian War Memorial’s collection and I have no doubt Mr Abbott will be an asset to the Council during this period,” Mr Chester said.

Mr Abbott will sit on the board as a part time member for three years.

His appointment comes amid a national search to find a new director for the War Memorial to replace Brendan Nelson, who steps down at the end of the year.

Administration extended for Central Darling

Bob Steward will continue as administrator of Centre Darling Shire Council after NSW local government minister Shelley Hancock announced it would remain in administration for another four years.

The drought-hit outback council, representing the largest LGA in NSW and taking in the towns of Wilcannia, Ivanhoe, White Cliffs, Menidee and Tilpa, was forced into administration in 2014 amid financial uncertainty.

Ms Hancock said the council remained under “significant financial strain” and the extended period of administration would allow it to get a long-term plan in place to guide governance and service delivery.

“This is a decision I don’t make lightly, however following advice from the current administration, the Office of Local Government and LGNSW, it was agreed the extension is in the best interests of the community,” Mrs Hancock said in a statement.

Abbie Galvin appointed first female NSW Government Architect

Abbie Galvin has made history after being appointed the first female NSW Government Architect in the 200-year history of the role.

Abbie Galvin

Announcing the appointment, planning and public Spaces minister Rob Stokes said Ms Galvin would be responsible for championing design excellence, shaping quality public spaces and collaborating with councils, industry and the community.

Ms Galvin said she looked forward to taking on the role at a time of “dynamic and far-reaching change” for the state.

Urban Taskforce said it looked forward to working with Ms Galvin in her new role.

In a statement the property development advocacy organisation said the role of the government architect had evolved form designing public buildings to having an overview of the built environment.

Urban Taskforce said it would be important for Ms Galvin to bring a commercial understanding of building and construction to planning rules and requirements.

“The new Government Architect should become an advocate for a more urban way of living, with greater density than the traditional suburbs,” it said.

Ms Galvin replaces Peter Poulet who has been appointed as the new Central City District Commissioner for the Greater Sydney Commission.

Former Sunshine Coast mayor to chair remuneration commission

Former Sunshine Coast and Noosa mayor Bob Abbot will chair Queensland’s new Local Government Remuneration Commission.

The commission will establish categories for Queensland’s 77 councils and the amount of remuneration payable to councillors and mayors in those categories.

The categories are reviewed every four years and remuneration is reviewed annually.

The commission and the new Councillor Conduct Tribunal replace the former Local Government Remuneration and Discipline Tribunal as part of the state government’s local government reform  agenda.

Environment and Energy Secretary announces retirement

Finn Pratt

Secretary of the Department of the Environment and Energy Finn Pratt is stepping down after a 36-year career in the public service.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Mr Pratt had led many reforms in government service deliver, Indigenous affairs the NDIS and climate change policy. He has also been responsible for building Australia’s Antarctic capabilities.

He was awarded a Public Service Medal in 2008.

New appointments to SCG Trust

Erin Flaherty and Rosheen Garnon have been appointed to the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust.

Ms Flaherty is a founding member of the Sydney Metro Authority Board and a member of the Board of Guardians  of the Future Fund.

Ms Garnon’s previous appointments include the Australian Rail Track Corporation, the Board of Taxation  and the Australia Council.

John Hartigan, Rod McGeoch, Maurice Newman and Barry O’Farrell have been reappointed as Trustees.

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