Diversifying Victoria’s Environmental Water Management

24 June 2019

Victoria’s water sector continues to reflect the diversity of the community, with the latest appointment of Victorian Environmental Water Holder (VEWH) Commissioners.

Minister for Water Lisa Neville today has appointed four commissioners and thanked both departing commissioners for their service to the water sector and community.

Mr Christopher Chesterfield has been reappointed to the Commission in the position of Chairperson and Mr Rueben Berg has returned as Victoria’s Aboriginal Water Commissioner.

Ms Peta Maddy joins the Commission as Deputy Chairperson alongside Ms Jennifer Fraser – continuing a strong record of 50 per cent gender representation on Victoria’s water boards.

The new VEWH Commissioners bring a balance of experience and knowledge in environmental management, sustainable water management, economics and public administration.

The new appointments follow the retirement of the inaugural VEWH Chairperson Denis Flett and Commissioner Geoff Hocking, both of whom have shown outstanding leadership and commitment in their roles.

The Andrews Labor Government is continuing to drive an all-inclusive appointment process for the State’s water sector – aiming to increase the number of female and Aboriginal members at board level.

The inclusion and involvement of Aboriginal Victorians in water management enhances the way we manage and make best use of our water resources.

VEWH was established in 2011 and is an independent statutory authority responsible for holding and managing Victoria’s environmental water entitlements.

VEWH makes decisions on the most effective use of Victoria’s environmental water entitlements, including use, trade and carryover, to improve the environmental health of rivers, wetlands and floodplains.

The VEWH has in recent years traded water not needed for environmental flows back into the market – allowing for further environmental benefits though on ground works and other measures. For example this may include works to ensure native fish can migrate and breed to ensure healthy populations.

The commissioners will start their four-year terms on 1 July 2019.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville

“We’re making sure Victoria’s water sector has the right skills and expertise to help protect Victoria’s water security and I’m thrilled to see these appointments continue our strong record of gender diversity.”

“Aboriginal communities have key insight about water holdings and the health of our waterways and it’s crucial to have their experience and knowledge represented in the water sector.”

“I would also like to particularly acknowledge the efforts Mr Denis Flett for his contributions as the inaugural Chairperson of VEWH, along with our other departing Commissioner Geoff Hocking.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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