Politician new CEO
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.’’