Hunter Regional Expert Panel members unveiled

The members of a new committee, charged with helping the transition from coal to renewables, have been announced.

The NSW Government has announced ten community leaders and local representatives to be a part of the Hunter Regional Expert Panel – one of four panels established to help distribute the State Government’s Royalties for Rejuvenation Fund.

Business Hunter CEO Bob Hawes has been appointed to the position of Chairperson. The other nine members are:

  • University of Newcastle public policy researcher Professor Roberta Ryan
  • Hunter Joint Organisation chief executive Joe James
  • BHP chief technical officer’s chief of staff Elizabeth Watts
  • NSW Minerals Council policy director James Barben
  • Hunter Jobs Alliance coordinator Warrick Jordan
  • Regional Development Australia Hunter chairman John Turner
  • Darkinjung Aboriginal Land Council chief executive Brendan Moyle
  • Upper Hunter community engagement expert Fiona Plesman
  • Construction Forestry Maritime Mining Energy Union organiser Robin Williams

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the panel members were appointed after a competitive, merit-based recruitment process.

“The panel, comprising of members with a diverse range of skills, expertise, backgrounds and experiences, will provide me with advice and recommendations on applications received through the Royalties for Rejuvenation Fund to ensure that decision-making is aligned with the needs of the local area.

“These panel members, who will serve over a three-year term will have a say in how the Fund is invested towards projects and initiatives like strategic planning and workforce development programs, the development of enabling infrastructure and the establishment of new industries and job opportunities.

“Importantly, we have established the Fund and appointed the Expert Panel members at a time when export thermal coal prices are at record highs, with several mining companies planning to expand and extend the life of their mining operations across the Hunter.”

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