25 June 2014 — The Victorian government has announced the appointment of Dr Gillian Sparkes as the new Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, replacing outgoing Commissioner Kate Auty.
“Dr Sparkes is a respected leader in environmental governance and community engagement, who brings to her new role extensive experience in both the public and private sectors,” Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith said. “This includes work with Sustainability Victoria, BlueScope Steel, EPA Victoria, Monash University, and the Department of Sustainability and Environment.
“As the new Commissioner, Dr Sparkes will draw on more than 30 years of experience in science, research, governance and community consultation to advise on the best environmental outcomes for Victoria.”
Dr Sparkes is the current chair of Sustainability Victoria, though the new position requires her to relinquish the role. Sustainability Victoria deputy chair Lydia Wilson has been announced as the new chair.
Mr Smith said Ms Wilson’s experience in waste governance reforms made her “ideally placed to lead Sustainability Victoria and deliver further wins for Victoria’s environment and economy”.
Mr Smith also announced that City of Melbourne councillor Arron Wood would also join the Sustainability Victoria board, which he said would strengthen local government representation.
The role of the Commissioner is to inform the community about the health of the environment and advise government on how best to achieve environmental, social and economic sustainability.
The two reappointments and new member appointment will commence 1 July for a three year period.