FORMER Albany port chief Brad Williamson is the new chair of the Great Southern Development Commission board.
He replaces former Denmark shire president Ross Thornton, whose three-year term expired in June.
Announcing the appointment Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said that Mr Williamson had significant experience in executive roles. He was the CEO of the Albany Port Authority from 2002 to 2014, and general manager of the Port of Albany from 2014 to 2016. Mr Williamson was appointed to the GSDC board in 2018.
“Brad’s years of service at Albany’s port put him front and centre of the Great Southern’s economic activity,” Ms MacTiernan said. “He has a real understanding of the region’s core economic strengths in primary production, and in its rapidly growing opportunities in aquaculture, tourism, renewable energy and education. “Brad will now help to drive the government’s commitment to regional diversification, economic growth and local jobs.”
The Minister expressed her appreciation to Mr Thornton for his enthusiastic and dedicated service to the board. “Ross brought considerable knowledge and expertise to the role in key areas, including local government, regional planning, construction and agriculture,” she said.
Denmark shire president Ceinwen Gearon acknowledged Mr Thornton’s diligent approach to the role. “His knowledge of planning and local government in particular were ably applied during his tenure,” Cr Gearon said. “I am delighted by the experience Mr Williamson brings to the position. “Regional economic development is a key focus for this shire and our regional partners, the City of Albany and Shire of Plantagenet. “It is timely that the new GSDC chair has such a comprehensive understanding of the region’s key economic strengths, as well as its emerging economic opportunities.”
Mr Williamson said that the GSDC was a well-run organisation, and he did not envisage any radical changes associated with his appointment. “I will build on the strength of the commission and the current government agenda to generate employment in the region and support projects that produce local jobs,” he said. “I see my work as helping commission staff develop major projects – often behind the scenes – and successfully operating as a facilitator with all levels of government.”