Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

Senator the Hon Don Farrell

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water

New Chair and Commissioners for National Water Commission

Media release
29 June 2012
DF12/035

Parliamentary Secretary for Sustainability and Urban Water, Senator Don Farrell, today announced the appointment of a new Chair and reappointed commissioners to the National Water Commission.

Former South Australian Nationals MP and Minister for Water Security and the River Murray, Ms Karlene Maywald, has been appointed Chair and Commissioner for a three year term.

Senator Farrell said Ms Maywald brings a high level of expertise in water resource management to the role.

"Karlene Maywald was South Australia's Minister for Water Security and the River Murray during one of the worst drought periods in living memory. She has a proven, long-standing track record in water management and is passionate about water reform in Australia," he said.

Australian Government-nominated Commissioner Mr Robert Freeman, former Chief Executive Officer of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, has been reappointed. The two Commissioners nominated by the states and territories – Professor Stuart Bunn, Director of the Australian Rivers Institute, and Mr Chris Davis, former CEO of the Australian Water Association – have also been reappointed.

The Government will announce a fifth Commissioner as soon as the appointment process is completed.

"I know these Commissioners will make an important contribution to the ongoing work of the Commission," Senator Farrell said.

"They bring a great wealth of knowledge and experience to the Commission's work in addressing key challenges in the ongoing implementation of the COAG water reform agenda, including oversight of Murray-Darling Basin reforms."

Senator Farrell thanked outgoing Commissioners Ms Elaine Gardiner, Mr Lawrence Arthur, and Ms Sally Farrier for their efforts in overseeing the important work of the Commission and wished them well in their future endeavours.

Senator Farrell also expressed particular appreciation to Professor Stuart Bunn for acting as Chair of the Commission since 1 April 2012.

In April 2012, COAG agreed to retain the National Water Commission with a focus on the functions of audit, monitoring and assessment of water reform.