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New Land and Water Australia board directors.

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The Hon. Tony Burke MP Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

New Land and Water Australia board directors 31 July 2008 DAFF08/092B

Land and Water Australia (LWA) has a new board to oversee its investment into research that will improve the productivity of Australian farming and the future management of our natural resources.

Australian Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Minister Tony Burke today announced membership of the new board which has been appointed until June 2011 and will continue to be chaired by Bobbie Brazil.

Mr Burke said five new members—Nick Austin, Stuart Blanch, David Eyre, Rowan Foley and Sharon Starick—will join Dianne Bentley and Ted Lefroy who have been returned for a second term.

“The new board brings together people from diverse backgrounds with extensive experience in natural resource management, agriculture and rural Australia,” Mr Burke said.

Mr Burke thanked retiring members John Childs and Jack Speirs for their contribution to LWA, and Tim Fisher who resigned earlier this year to assist with work in the Australian Government’s Climate Change and Water portfolio. Mr Burke also acknowledged the significant contribution made by the late Professor Peter Cullen AO.

The new LWA Board is: Dianne Bentley—agricultural research and management consultant and Assistant Commissioner, Natural Resources Commission of NSW. Ms Bentley has strong rural links and broad ranging experience including NRM and farm management, finance and business management and economic research. Professor Ted Lefroy—Director, Centre for Environment, University of Tasmania. Prior to this he was the Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO Division of Sustainable Ecosystems, WA. Professor Lefroy’s agricultural science career covers rural extension and research in Australia and overseas and he was a part owner of a farming property in WA for many years. Dr Nick Austin—Deputy Director-General, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Orange. Dr Austin’s skills and background experience include R&D administration, public administration, environmental hydrology, sustainable irrigated agriculture and salinity management. Dr Stuart Blanch—a senior manager with WWF-Australia leading advocacy and policy development for Northern Australia. Dr Blanch’s roles with other environmental organisations include Water Reform Officer with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and Coordinator of the Healthy Rivers Campaign for the Australian Conservation Foundation. Dr Blanch brings to the board skills in ecological sciences and conservation. David Eyre—Senior Policy Manager, NSW Farmers’ Federation. Previously Mr Eyre held senior policy, science and economics positions with the NSW Department of Land & Water Conservation and Natural Resources. Mr Eyre’s experience covers climate change, water, and agricultural and forestry policy development. Rowan Foley—Chief Executive Officer, Central Desert Shire Council, Alice Springs and previously Park Manager of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Mr Foley has a broad range of experience covering environmental management, indigenous land management, national park administration and infrastructure development. Sharon Starick—a cereal and pig producer from South Australia. Ms Starick has skills in commodity production, conservation and natural resource management and agricultural science. Ms Starick’s advisory roles relate to rural adjustment and regional issues, industry development and water and land management.