Timber leader to guide cross-border selection

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Lechelle Earl, owner/editor

Timber leader to guide cross-border selection

Third generation sawmiller Ian McDonnell is assisting with the selection of the next Cross Border Commissioner.

Described by Premier Peter Malinauskas as a Mount Gambier business leader, Mr McDonnell has been joined on the selection panel by two senior public servants.

The position fell vacant several months ago when inaugural Commissioner Liz McKinnon stepped down.

Interviews were held earlier this month and Premier Malinauskas has told State Parliament that an appointment is imminent.

Responding to queries from Opposition Leader David Spiers, Premier Malinauskas stressed the position would be based in Mount Gambier

“The allocated annual budget for the Cross Border Commissioner in 2024-25 is $525,000 and indexed ongoing,” Premier Malinauskas said.

“Expenditure by the Department of Premier and Cabinet to date on recruitment of a Cross Border Commissioner has been $24,208, which includes advertising the position, supported by a recruitment agency.

“When I heard the previous Cross Border Commissioner Liz McKinnon was leaving, naturally I was quite surprised and disappointed.

“I rang her to touch base with her and asked her to provide me some frank and fearless views about the role and what could be done to make sure it is effective into the future.

“Her view was that many of the issues that constituents or complainants or whatever you want to call them raised with the Cross Border Commissioner actually related to Primary Industries and Resources South Australia itself – not all, but quite a number.

“She suggested that given the nature of the role is across agencies, it would be better for the role to have a central government location bureaucratically.

“I will be catching up with the [new] Cross Border Commissioner on a semi-regular basis.

“During the course of those discussions undoubtedly we will discuss what can be done to make sure the role is best equipped to be able to fulfil the objectives that we have.”

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