Mark Parnell in Parliament

QUESTION: Government’s representative on the Premier’s Climate Change Council

Legislative Council

February 12th, 2015

On Thursday 12 February Mark asked the Minister for Climate Change, the Hon. Ian Hunter, a question regarding the government’s representative on the Premier’s Climate Change Council.
The Hon. M.C. PARNELL: In August last year, so five months ago, Mr Allan Holmes resigned as the CEO of the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. As CEO of the department, Mr Holmes was also the government's representative on the Premier's Climate Change Council, a body whose charter, according to the act, is to provide independent advice to the minister about matters associated with reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change. My questions to the minister are:

  1. Is Mr Holmes still a member of the Premier's Climate Change Council?
  2. If he is, in what capacity?
  3. If not, who his replacement? 

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER  (Minister for Climate Change) : I thank the honourable member for his most important question. The Premier's Climate Change Council is established under the Climate Change and Greenhouse Emissions Reduction Act 2007. The council's primary function is to provide me with independent advice about matters associated with reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change. The third term of the council commenced with its meeting on 2 June 2014.

Council members are appointed for a three-year term, and I am advised that the current council membership comprises: the chair, Mr Bruce Carter; Ms Kathryn Bellette; Ms Michelle Tucker; Mr Brian Foster; Mr John O'Brien; Ms Nicole Halsey; Ms Ros DeGaris; and Mr Allan Holmes. I am responsible for appointing council members with a view to obtaining a balance of expertise that is relevant to reducing emissions and adapting to climate change, while providing reasonable representation from state and local government, the business community, the environment and conservation sector, the scientific community and other sectors of the state's community more generally.

The council is therefore tasked with giving me advice, and I don't think anyone would dispute the fact that Mr Allan Holmes has a great deal of experience in this area and in giving advice to government over a very long period of time. However, Mr Holmes at my request, I think, stayed on this council; he was appointed, of course, as CE of my department and that is how he had his position. We now have a new CE, and it is my expectation that she will be replacing Mr Holmes on that council in due course.

Authorised by M. Parnell, Parliament House Adelaide.