New chair­man to ‘drive job cre­ation’

Midwest Times - - TIMES NEWS - Ge­off Vi­vian

For­mer La­bor politi­cian Tom Stephens has been ap­pointed Gas­coyne De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion chair­man.

Mr Stephens said he would serve for about nine months while WA Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Alan­nah MacTier­nan found a re­place­ment for out­go­ing chair­man Tony Beard, who was no longer el­i­gi­ble for reap­point­ment after serv­ing two terms.

“I’m very ap­pre­cia­tive of the op­por­tu­nity to work with Gas­coyne peo­ple once again,” Mr Stephens said.

“I’m very keen to see the Gas­coyne agenda of eco­nomic achieve­ment for ev­ery­one is front and cen­tre for the De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion and build on the good work done by that team.

“And see­ing if we can add value by adding in the years of ex­pe­ri­ence I have had with that fo­cus in many of the re­gional ar­eas of WA, in­clud­ing the Gas­coyne.” Mr Stephens said as min­is­ter for Re­gional De­vel­op­ment in 1992, he had ap­pointed the first Gas­coyne De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion.

Min­is­ter MacTier­nan said Mr Stephens’ ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence in Abo­rig­i­nal em­ploy­ment and work with Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­ni­ties would en­sure the com­mis­sion re­mained fo­cused on cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple in the re­gion.

“The State Gov­ern­ment ap­pre­ci­ates Tom step­ping in to pro­vide lead­er­ship at the Gas­coyne De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion over the next nine months,” she said.

“Tom’s deep en­gage­ment with Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­ni­ties and ex­pe­ri­ence in re­gional eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment will help us to drive job cre­ation in the Gas­coyne.

“In par­tic­u­lar, Tom will over­see moves to re­open Carnar­von’s Gwoon­wardu Mia cul­tural cen­tre, pro­vid­ing fan­tas­tic em­ploy­ment and busi­ness de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple in Carnar­von.”

A spokesman for the min­is­ter con­firmed this was a paid po­si­tion and the Pub­lic Sec­tor Com­mis­sion has been con­tacted for de­tails of the costs in­volved.

Ms MacTier­nan said Carnar­von res­i­dent Naomi McMa­hon would also join the Gas­coyne De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion board, bring­ing a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence in Abo­rig­i­nal eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

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