The Commission is a progressive, strategically focused agency that plays a key role in the social and economic development of the Pilbara.

Commission Board

Responsible to the Minister for Regional Development, the Board is the governing body of the Commission, ensuring the efficient and effective operation of the organisation. The Board meets regularly to consider matters of economic and social importance to the Pilbara, to formulate advice to the Minister on appropriate matters, to set policy directions for the Commission and to formulate budget priorities. The Board is comprised of six members including community, local government and Ministerial appointments, and the Chief Executive Officer, who is a member of the Board by virtue of office. All Board members contribute skills, experience and local knowledge that benefit the Commission and the region.

One third of the Board (two members) are to be resident in the Pilbara region and nominated in accordance with the regulations; one third are to be members of the council of a local government in the Pilbara and are to be nominated by local governments in the region in accordance with the regulations; and two members are to be appointed at the Minister's discretion.

Primary activities

• Set the overall strategic direction and goals of the Commission
• Provide guidance on specific projects and initiatives
• Formulate Commission policy
• Review progress at regular intervals to ensure established goals are being achieved
• Monitor Commission expenditure
• Promote economic development
• Represent the Commission at relevant meetings and functions
• Advocate for the Pilbara region

The Board's strategic role of oversight, direction and advice is distinct from the role of the CEO, who is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the Commission.

Board activity in 2018-19

Six meetings were scheduled in 2018-19, with five going ahead following a decision by the Board in April 2019 to reduce the number of meetings held annually from six to four. No extraordinary meetings were held. The table below reports meeting attendance of each Board member during the reporting period, based on eligibility to attend.

During 2018-19, Board meetings were held in Newman, Karratha and Perth. The Board meets regularly in different towns across the region, enabling members to connect with local businesses and residents and providing members with valuable insight into the challenges and issues facing the region, and the priorities for regional development.

To maximise this opportunity, the Commission partnered with the chambers of commerce in Newman, Port Hedland and Karratha to host Business-After-Hours networking events where the Board had the opportunity to present the current activities and priorities of the Commission and network with businesses. These events aligns with the Commission’s strategic objective to be accessible and visible in the region.

Extension or completion of terms during 2018-19

• Dr. Alan Eggleston’s term expired in October 2018.
• Cr Jeton Ahmedi resigned in November 2018.
• Mr Chris Cottier’s term was extended to 31 December 2019.
• Cr Julie Arif’s and Cr Gerry Parsons’ terms expired in January 2019. As local government elections are due in October 2019, their terms were extended.

Independent external advice

Individual Board members have the right to seek independent professional advice on particular matters before the Board, subject to approval by the Chairman, at the Commission's expense.

Declarations of interest

The Board has a standing declaration of interest process included in the Board Charter. A standing agenda item at all meetings provides for the declaration and management of any potential conflicts of interest and a Board Members' Interest Register is maintained on an ongoing basis.

Application process to become a Board member

Calls for nominations to the Board are made through advertisements placed in relevant news outlets and letters to individual councillors, chambers of commerce and other regional organisations. People may nominate themselves or others, and organisations may also nominate individuals. Terms of appointment are for up to three years.

After the specified closing date, all nominations are reviewed by the Commission's CEO, who makes a recommendation to the Minister for Regional Development.

The Minister for Regional Development, Hon Alannah MacTiernan MLC, makes the appointments, which require endorsement by Cabinet.

In May 2019, nominations closed to fill one community vacancy on the Commission's Board. Applications for this position were still under review and the appointment pending as of 30 June 2019.

The Minister is still to appoint a sixth board member to fill the final Ministerial vacancy as of 30 June 2019.

Commission Board remuneration during 2018-19

Board profiles

A skilled executive and senior leader, Brendan has more than 25 years of experience in senior roles across energy, water, ports and resources sectors, including as Managing Director of Rio Tinto Argyle Diamonds. He has more than ten years of experience as a board Chair of listed businesses and government trading enterprises, including Horizon Power and Dampier Port Authority. Brendan has a proven track record of working with regional communities, in Western Australia and around the world, to drive economic and social change. He is a partner in Centric Digital LLC (New York), the owner of Seymour Associates Pty Ltd, and contributes widely in the not-for-profit sector. In 2011, Brendan was awarded the Western Australian Citizen of the Year award for his contribution to regional development.

Mr Cottier is a long-term Port Hedland resident and currently works for BHP in its Corporate Affairs department. He has held a range of senior leadership positions within the public, private and community sector including Community Relations Manager, Corporate Affairs Manager and Manager of Indigenous Affairs for BHP Billiton. He has served as Acting Director General for the Department of Indigenous Affairs, and has worked in various other state and federal government roles across the South West, Kimberley and Pilbara. Mr Cottier also sits on the Western Australian Football Commission board as a Commissioner and brings a strong focus on junior and master's participation and regional and club administration.

Prior to taking up his current position as Chief Executive Officer of the Pilbara Development Commission, Mr Hill was an Executive Director at the Department of Agriculture and Food, working with the irrigated agriculture sector. Mr Hill has held a number of senior roles in the Western Australian government, and at a national level. He has carried out the role as the Deputy Chair of the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation and was a foundation Director of Horticulture Australia Ltd. He has also worked internationally leading a significant project in Indonesia, industry trade missions to Asia and managing the commercialisation of intellectual property. Mr Hill holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, a Masters in Agribusiness and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Cr Arif is a long-term Port Hedland resident and local historian with experience in local government and regional development. Cr Arif worked in education for 22 years and is an active member of the community. She is involved with the Port Hedland Historical Society and Care for Hedland Environmental Group. Cr Arif has authored 4 local history books and one children's book. She is an occasional tour guide and is the Assistant Manager of the Dalgety House Museum in Port Hedland.

Cr Parsons has resided in Newman since 2000 and has served as a Councillor for the Shire of East Pilbara since 2011. Cr Parsons currently sits on the Newman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Newman Turf Club, Newman Recreation Centre Management Committee, South Newman Primary School Board and is the secretary for the Catholic Church. She has been awarded Newman Volunteer of the Year, Newman International Women's Day recipient and is a Life Member of the Newman Tee Ball and Junior Soccer Associations. Her key focus is on sustainable growth of the Pilbara region and towns opening channels for economic development and improved infrastructure.

Served on the Board 2018-19

Dr Eggleston moved to Port Hedland in 1974 establishing a private medical practice in South Hedland in 1976. Dr Eggleston was Mayor of Port Hedland before entering the Australian Senate in 1996 where he served three six-year terms. While in the Senate he participated in a number of Senate Committees and was a member of the Abbott government's Joint Select Committee on Northern Australia.

Cr Ahmedi was appointed as Shire of East Pilbara Councillor (South Ward) for a four-year term. He is passionate about supporting his local community and plays an active role as Justice of the Peace and holds various volunteer positions for local junior sporting associations.

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