Politi­cian new CEO

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

Luke Simp­kins has been ap­pointed to lead NSW Ir­ri­ga­tors Council as its CEO from Septem­ber 3.

Mr Simp­kins suc­ceeds out­go­ing CEO Mark McKen­zie, who is leav­ing the council af­ter four years to pur­sue farm­ing in­ter­ests in Western Vic­to­ria.

He will be work­ing with the new CEO in a tran­si­tion role un­til Novem­ber.

Mr Simp­kins is re­turn­ing to Syd­ney where he grew up and was ed­u­cated at Syd­ney Boys High School and the Univer­sity of NSW.

He rep­re­sented Aus­tralia in row­ing in 1984, and NSW in 1982, 1983 and 1985.

He served in the Aus­tralian Fed­eral Police from 1986 and for 15 years as an of­fi­cer in the Aus­tralian Army, be­fore rep­re­sent­ing the Western Aus­tralian elec­torate of Cowan in the Aus­tralian Par­lia­ment for nine years.

NSWIC said Mr Simp­kins brings broad ex­pe­ri­ence in pol­icy de­vel­op­ment, busi­ness man­age­ment and gov­ern­ment.

‘‘Ir­ri­ga­tors pro­vide high qual­ity Aus­tralian food and fi­bre and re­gional jobs. With­out ir­ri­ga­tion, prices for con­sumers would rise, as would un­em­ploy­ment, and not just in New South Wales but along the whole chain of dis­tri­bu­tion,’’ Mr Simp­kins said.

“I will use my ex­pe­ri­ence in the Aus­tralian Par­lia­ment to work with both sides of the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum to safe­guard and sup­port the ir­ri­ga­tion sec­tor. Ac­cess to wa­ter and fairly priced en­ergy is not just for the ben­e­fit of the sec­tor, but for all Aus­tralians.’’

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