Simon Corbell has announced we now have an Environment Commissioner with Robert Neil finally able to take “Acting” off his business cards:
Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Simon Corbell, has today announced the appointment of Mr Robert Neil as the ACT’s new Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment.
The Commissioner has responsibility for a range of crucial functions concerned with monitoring and reporting on the state of the ACT’s environment and progress on achieving a more sustainable pattern of development.
“I am pleased to be able to announce the appointment of Mr Neil to the position for a five year term. Mr Neil has been Acting Commissioner for the past 12 months,” Mr Corbell said.
“The Commissioner plays an important independent role in ensuring our local environment is protected and provides important advice and oversight on the environmental and sustainability challenges facing our city and our region.”
The Commissioner is responsible for the preparation of ACT and regional State of the Environment reports and investigates complaints about environmental management.
He is able to exercise an advocacy and awareness role and may conduct investigations, both on his own initiative, or at the direction of the responsible Minister.
Mr Neil brings extensive experience to the position, particularly in the area of environment protection. Prior to taking up the role of Commissioner, he held the statutory position of the ACT’s Environment Protection Authority and was Director of Environment Protection and Water Resources Regulation.
UPDATE 04/12/12 12:58: Mr Neil has expressed his joy at the announcement:
“I’m very honored to hold this position, and am committed to helping the community and ACT Government act in ways that advance sustainability and promote good management of the environment,” ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment, Robert Neil said.
Mr Neil brings extensive experience to the position, particularly in the area of environment protection, delivering high quality, sustainable outcomes on environmental issues for the ACT. Prior to taking up the role of Commissioner, he held the statutory position of the ACT’s Environment Protection Authority and was Director of Environment Protection and Water Resources Regulation.
The Commissioner is an independent statutory position established in 1993 as one of the first independent Commissioners for the Environment in the world and the first in Australia. It advocates for the environment and provides independent scrutiny, reporting and advice.
“Our challenge is to maintain and enhance our environment, and make sure that environmental policies are developed for the long-term. We need to make sure we don’t cheat our grandchildren out of an environment they deserve,” Mr Neil said.
“It’s important to note that while the ACT and broader region is in pretty good shape, we have to be aware of incremental changes that are happening all around us. The forces causing global issues, such as the melting of the arctic icecap and permafrost, will also eventually impact on us.”