Australian Heritage Commission, 2000
- Legal challenges
- Commission membership
- Co-opted commissioners
- Retirements during 1999-2000
- Appointments during 1999-2000
- Finance and Audit Committee
During 1999–2000 the Commission continued to be involved in two Federal Court actions under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977.
Although major questions of law in relation to the Commission’s entry of the Sir Edward Pellew Islands and surrounds, Northern Territory, in the Register were resolved by the Federal and High Courts in 1996 and 1997, questions of fact may still be tested by the applicant, Mount Isa Mines (MIM) Holdings, before the Federal Court.
Section 12 of the Australian Heritage Commission Act provides for the appointment of a part-time chairman and up to six part-time commissioners. A secretary of a Commonwealth Government department or chair of a Commonwealth authority may be appointed as a representative commissioner, although no more than two such commissioners may hold office at one time. All commissioners are appointed by the Governor-General. Representative commissioners are appointed for an indefinite term. Other commissioners are appointed for up to three years and may be reappointed for a continuous period not exceeding six years.
Section 21 of the Act provides for the Commission itself to appoint up to two co-opted commissioners, who may take part in the deliberations of the Commission but have no voting rights. The term of office of co-opted commissioners is 12 months, with reappointment possible for further periods thereafter.
As at 30 June 2000, the membership of the Commission and the period of appointment for each member was as follows.
Mr Peter King BA (Hons), MA (Oxon)
New South Wales
Mr King took up a three-year appointment as Chairman of the Australian Heritage Commission on 4 March 1998. Mr King has been a Sydney barrister since 1979 and specialises in international, commercial and admiralty law. He is head of chambers at Queen’s Square Chambers, Sydney. Mr King was a member of Woollahra Council for four years from 1987, where he served as Mayor. Experience in conservation issues from the community perspective came from Mr King’s work as pro bono adviser to Landcare Walcha, as well as convenor of an urban environmental group which was instrumental in the Commonwealth Government’s decision to establish the Clean Air Inquiry in 1997. From 1994 to 1998 he was a judicial member of the Equal Opportunity Tribunal of New South Wales and, since 1998, has been a judicial officer of the Administrative Decisions Tribunal of New South Wales.
(4 March 1998 to 3 March 2001)
Mr Beale is Secretary of the Department of the Environment and Heritage and was formerly Associate Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Within that department Mr Beale was responsible for advice on environmental, economic, industry and resources matters, the department’s internal administration, and the Cabinet Office. Mr Beale holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in history, politics and law from the University of Queensland and a Masters in Industrial Relations from Cornell University in the United States. Mr Beale is a member of the Commission’s Historic Environment Subcommittee.
(29 July 1996,Representative Commissioner for the period of the Governor-general’s pleasure)
Mr Rod Behenna LLB
Mr Behenna is an Adelaide solicitor with special interests in natural and cultural heritage, particularly the coastal geography of the Fleurieu Peninsula and South Australian colonial architecture, artistic traditions and written heritage. His special interests are the history and architectural styles of early South Australian rural settlement, the influence of regional development on building styles and the relationship between heritage conservation and urban or tourist development. The influence of particular localities on the development of regional artistic traditions and South Australiana are also of great interest to Mr Behenna. He is a member of the Commission’s Finance and Audit Committee and Environment Subcommittee.
(23 February 1999 to 22 February 2002)
Mrs Jos Chatfield
Mrs Chatfield has a farm at Tammin and runs a tree nursery and a Landcare consultancy. She is also a deputy chairman of the board of the Water and Rivers Commission of Western Australia. A former director of Greening Western Australia, Mrs Chatfield was involved in developing policy on conservation and natural resource management. She was also involved in community projects linking rural and urban areas. Mrs Chatfield was an executive officer of the Tammin Landcare Conservation District Committee, a member of the Soil and Land Conservation Council and has worked to encourage land managers to become involved in Landcare. She is a member of the CSIRO Division of Wildlife Ecology Regional Consultative Committee and the Gordon Reid Foundation for Conservation, and is a member of the Commission’s Finance and Audit Committee and the Forests and Natural Environment subcommittees.
(23 February 1999 to 22 February 2002)
Ms Jane Lennon BA (Hons), MA (Hons)
Ms Lennon established a heritage consultancy in Brisbane in 1993. She has a long involvement with heritage conservation in national parks, forests, coasts, goldfields, inner urban areas and museums as a Victorian public servant (1973–1993) and as a member of numerous professional and community associations. She has an MA from the University of Melbourne. Ms Lennon chairs the Newstead House Board of Trustees and is president of the Queensland Historians’ Institute Inc. She has worked on a range of projects including the Committee of Review into the Management of Commonwealth- Owned Heritage Properties, the Principal Australian Historic Themes project, the Ecologically Sustainable Forest Management assessment for East Gippsland, the State of the Environment report and World Heritage strategies. Ms Lennon is a member of the Commission’s Forests and Historic Environment subcommittees.
(15 July 1998 to 14 July 2001)
Dr Sculthorpe is director of the Indigenous Cultures Program at Museum Victoria. She holds a PhD in Aboriginal Studies from La Trobe University and has worked extensively with Indigenous cultural heritage in museums at local, State and national levels. DR Sculthorpe is also a council member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. She has a particular interest in promoting community involvement in heritage management tourism issues. DR Sculthorpe is a member of the Commission’s Indigenous and Natural Environment subcommittees. (15 July 1998 to 14 July 2001)
Mr John Temple
Mr Temple, from Launceston, is a member of the State Council of the National Trust of Australia (Tasmania). He was a board member and director of the Australian Council of National Trusts and was State president of the National Trust of Australia (Tasmania) from 1994 to 1997. Mr Temple chaired the Northern Region of the National Trust of Australia (Tasmania) from 1991 to 1993. Mr Temple is also director of a company that markets panorama postcards, limited edition prints and products related to the tourism sector. He is a member of the Commission’s Finance and Audit Committee, and the Forests and Historic Environment subcommittees.
(23 February 1999 to 22 February 2002)
Dr Denis Saunders BSc (Hons), PhD
Australian Capital Territory
Dr Denis Saunders is an assistant chief in the CSIRO and a respected authority on nature conservation, biological diversity and human ecology. His research interests include the integration of nature conservation with agricultural production in a total landscape management approach and the conservation and management of remnant native vegetation and associated fauna. He has specific experience in state of the environment reporting. DR Saunders has a strong commitment to communicating landscape ecology and conservation to all members of the community. He has received awards for contributions to conservation biology and for landscape ecology, and has written and edited numerous papers, books, reports and other scientific publications. He is currently a member of the Commonwealth Government’s Biological Diversity Advisory Council and a member of the Commission’s Forests and Natural Environment subcommittees.
(12 May 2000 to 11 May 2001)
Mrs Rosemary Foot AO
New South Wales
Mrs Foot has been involved in tourism and rural enterprises, health policy and administration, the visual arts, women’s interests and politics. Throughout her career she had been a board member of numerous significant voluntary organisations as well as State and Commonwealth advisory bodies. As a commissioner of Tourism New South Wales, she was recently instrumental in the development of cultural tourism as a policy initiative, while also being chairperson of the National Trust Conservation Fund Advisory Board. Presently a director of the international aid organisation, CARE Australia, Mrs Foot is also a board member of the Major Organisations Fund, Australia Council, and an advisory board member of Art/Omi, New York. (18 October 1999 to 17 October 2000)
There were no retirements during the 1999–2000 financial year.
Mrs Rosemary Foot AO, New South Wales (co-opted commissioner).
DR Denis Saunders, Australian Capital Territory (reappointed as a co-opted commissioner).
Under subsection 20(2) of the Australian Heritage Commission Act 1975, the Commission must hold at least four meetings per year. Usually it meets five to seven times per year. During 1999–2000 the Commission met on the following occasions:
- Canberra 26–27 July 1999
- Telephone link-up 18 August 1999
- Canberra 27–28 September 1999
- Canberra 29–30 November 1999
- Telephone linkup 25 February 2000
- Canberra 21–22 March 2000
- Canberra 13–14 June 2000
- Telephone linkup 29 June 2000
The Commission’s Finance and Audit Committee met five times during 1999–2000 and comprised the following members:
- Ms Jos Chatfield, commissioner (Chair of the committee);
- Mr Rod Behenna, commissioner;
- Mr John Temple, commissioner; and
- Mr Brian Babington, Deputy Executive Director.
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