The Water Recovery and Environmental Use Stakeholder Reference Panel was announced on 16 June 2009 by the Minister for Climate Change and Water.
The panel comprises stakeholders from a diversity of backgrounds covering a wide range of geographical locations in the Basin. The panel builds on and replaces the Stakeholder Consultative Committee established in May 2008 to provide stakeholder input to the 2007-08 review of the Australian Government's water purchasing program.
In particular, the panel will:
- Consider arrangements for the water purchase mechanisms developed under the Restoring the Balance in the Murray-Darling Basin program. This will include the socio-economic impact of water purchasing and the environmental benefits of water purchases and how best to provide information on the program to the public
- Provide stakeholder views on the proposed arrangements for managing the water from entitlements that the Commonwealth buys for the environment.
Panel members have been chosen so that feedback can be provided from a range of different perspectives and community interests. These views will be considered by the Department as it refines, implements and evaluates Water for the Future programs.
Appointments are for a minimum of twelve months and up to two years.
The Chair will be the First Assistant Secretary, Water Efficiency Division in the Department.
Richard Anderson is a mixed farmer from Bamawm, Victoria, and is the Chairman of the Victorian Farmers' Federation (VFF) Water Council for 2007-2008. He has chaired the VFF Water Council since 2006.
Mr Anderson has successfully chaired the Rochester/Campaspe Water Services Committee, a stakeholder group for Gouburn-Murray Water, for the past 25 years as well as chairing the Campapse Deeplead Water Supply Protection Area Consultative Committee.
Mr Anderson also serves on a number of reference committees including Northern Region Sustainable Water Strategy, National Farmers Federation (NFF) Water Taskforce, Stakeholder Consultative Committee for Government Buy-Back of Water, NFF Technical Working Group and salinity reference committees as well as being involved in the Echuca and Rochester VFF branches.
Dr Arlene Harriss-Buchan
Dr Arlene Harriss-Buchan is the Healthy Rivers Campaign Coordinator with the Australian Conservation Foundation. She leads ACF's work on The Living Murray initiative, the National Water Initiative and all other issues related to rivers, water and freshwater assets.
Dr Harriss-Buchan's professional background is in science (biochemistry) and law. She sits on a number of reference and advisory committees including the Inland Rivers Network of New South Wales, Stakeholder Reference Group of the National Water Commission; Community Reference Group of the Murray-Darling Basin Commission; and the Australian Landcare Council (Deputy). In 2006, Arlene was awarded the Melbourne University Christine Forster Award for Excellence.
Ben Haslett is a director and manager of a family-owned business that grows citrus, wine grapes, stone fruit and almonds in the Riverland of South Australia. Contract mechanical harvesting, contract packing and domestic and international marketing are part of the core business.
Mr Haslett has a Bachelor of Science with Honours undertaken at the University of Adelaide and the University of California Davis, has visited research and primary production facilities in Israel, USA, France and Mexico, and has been contributing to water policy development for a state-based irrigators group.
Over the past 15 years he has been a member of a range of industry bodies. These include national research and development committees, state government advisory and commercial boards, and education and training management committees.
Mr Haslett participated in the 2020 summit held at Parliament House in Canberra in April 2008 as a member of the Rural and Regional Australia stream.
David May was born in Barham in southern New South Wales and has been farming in the district since 1978 when he joined his father on the family farm. He currently owns and manages 'Yarranvale', an irrigation and dryland farming business in NSW and Victoria, and lives north of Barham on the farm with his wife Robin.
Mr May has been involved in land and water issues in the Wakool district for more than two decades, serving in various roles, including as President of the Wakool Landholders Association President from 1987-89, working on the long-term sustainability of the Wakool Region which led to the formation of the Wakool Land and Water Management Plan, and Chairman of the Wakool Land and Water Management Plan from 1999-2008.
He is currently serving as Chairman of the Wakool Landholders Association and is a member of the Wakool Land and Water Management Plan, and a member of the Southern Riverina Irrigators, a regional-based organisation focusing primarily on water issues.
Ray Najar was born in Adelaide. He grew up in the Riverland at Monash and attended Glossop High School before embarking on an engineering career, now spanning more than 40 years.
Mr Najar established a Consulting Practice in 1977, which grew into a fully integrated design and construction company before he commenced working as an engineering manager with James Hardie Industries in the early 1990s. He later moved into marketing and training, including promoting Australian exports in the Middle East. He is currently the National Chairman of the Australia-Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry, serving over 500 businesses Australia wide.
Mr Najar is a founding member of the IAA (now Irrigation Australia) and served on the National Board from 1997 to 2002.
Mr Najar spent six years on the State Landcare Council. He is currently a member of the Business SA - Environment Committee, the River Murray Urban Users Group, and a long-standing member of the Murray Darling Association, of which he has been General Manager since October 2003. Since taking on this role he has worked to expand the association's presence in the eastern states, particularly in the Darling River Catchment.
Tim Napier was born and raised on his family's farm in eastern Tasmania. He holds a Bachelor's degree in management (farm business) from the University of Sydney and has spent the last twenty years working in a variety of irrigation operations across the Murray-Darling Basin, in New South Wales and Queensland.
Mr Napier was awarded an Australian Nuffield Scholarship in 2004 and studied sustainable farming systems in Europe, Canada, New Zealand and the United States in 2005 and 2006.
In early 2007, Mr Napier moved from the farm due to the severe drought, into the water policy field with local stakeholder's group, Border Rivers Food and Fibre. He has been working closely with his members, and the NSW, Qld and Australian Governments on water policy ever since.
Mr Napier is a member of the Executive of the Queensland Murray-Darling Committee, a community-based, not-for-profit organisation that delivers natural resource management services across the Queensland portion of the Murray-Darling Basin.
Mr Napier, his wife Jodie, and their young family live in the Queensland border town of Goondiwindi.
Mike Schultz is an ecologist based in Leeton in the Riverina region of New South Wales and has 20 years experience as a primary producer in horticulture. He is a director of an environmental and ecotourism company, MG & JT Pty. Ltd. Trading as TEMP-Tourism and Environmental Management People.
For the past 17 years, Mr Schultz has worked in biodiversity conservation and catchment management, having been a member of the NSW Native Vegetation Advisory Council, NSW Resource and Conservation Assessment Council, Murrumbidgee Regulated River Management Committee, and Murrumbidgee and Lachlan Groundwater Management Committees. He is currently a member of the Murrumbidgee Catchment Management Authority Board of Directors.
Mr Schultz is also Chair of the Fivebough and Tuckerbil Wetlands Trust, the NSW Ramsar Managers Network, Australian Birdfair, and the Murrumbidgee River Environmental Water Reference Group. Through his interest and involvement in waterbird research and wetland management, he has authored and co-authored a number of articles, technical reports and peer-reviewed publications in these fields.
Rory Treweeke was born in Adelaide and grew up in the Dirranbandi district of south-west Queensland. He graduated from the University of Melbourne with a LL.B and returned to manage the family property in the mid-1960s before purchasing and moving to Angledool Station, 50km north of Lightning Ridge, in 1969. The property is located on the Narran River floodplain, an effluent stream of the Condamine-Balonne system. The main activities are broad acre cropping and cattle.
Mr Treweeke has been involved in water issues since the 1970s. He chaired the Floodplain Landholders Group, was Independent Chair of the Barwon Darling River Management Committee and was a member of three Queensland committees for the Lower Balonne and the Condamine Balonne WAMP and Resource Planning processes.
Mr Treweeke also has been involved in the Isolated Children's Parents' Association at state and national levels; a director of AUSSAT PTY LTD; the Rural Lands Protection Board movement; Rural Counselling Services and Regional Recovery programmes for the Western Division of NSW, WEST 2000 and WEST 2000 Plus.
He is currently Chair of the Western Catchment Management Authority in NSW.
For more information about the Water Recovery and Environmental Use Stakeholder Reference Panel see: