Nature conservation

Biodiversity Reform

The review panel

The Minister for the Environment appointed an independent panel to conduct the biodiversity legislation review. Members of the Biodiversity Legislation Review Panel were:


Dr Neil Byron
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Dr Neil Byron has a national and international reputation as an environmental economist and policy analyst. He specialises in environmental management, natural resources and development planning, including social and environmental impact assessment. Dr Byron is currently an Adjunct Professor at University of Canberra’s Institute of Applied Ecology and a Research Associate with the Centre for Water Economics, Environment and Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University. He has spent 35 years advising governments in Australia and overseas on contentious policy issues, including 12 years to 2010 as Productivity Commissioner specialising in the environment and natural resources management issues. He holds a BSc (Hons) from Australian National University, and an MA (Economics) and a PhD (Resource Economics) from the University of British Columbia.


Dr Wendy Craik AM
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Dr Wendy Craik was appointed a Commissioner with the Productivity Commission in June 2009 and is currently the presiding Commissioner on the inquiry into Childcare and Early Childhood Learning. She has considerable expertise in natural resource management, and environmental issues and public policy more generally. Dr Craik has held many senior positions, including Chief Executive for the Murray-Darling Basin Commission, President of the National Competition Council, Chair of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Executive Director of the National Farmers Federation, and Executive Officer of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. She has been a director of a number of boards, and is currently a Board member of Dairy Australia, Chair of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation, Deputy Chancellor at the University of South Australia, and Chair of the NSW Marine Estate Management Authority. Wendy was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia in 2007 for service to the natural resource sector of the economy, particularly in the areas of fisheries, marine ecology and management of water reform, and for contributions to policies affecting rural and regional Australia.


  Dr John Keniry AM
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Dr John Keniry took up the position as Commissioner of the NSW Resources Commission in December 2012. Prior to that, he had served as Chairman or Director of numerous agribusiness companies in Australia and New Zealand and on the Boards of Government organisations at State and Federal level. His interest in natural resource management derives from 20 years as a board member of the NSW Environment Protection Authority and a 6-year term as a member of the Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council, as well as his direct involvement as owner of a fine wool and lamb producing enterprise in Central West NSW. A chemical engineer by profession, John has always maintained a keen interest in innovation, and, in addition to his role with the Resources Commission, he is presently Chairman of the Sheep Cooperative Research Centre, The Australian Wool Exchange and The Sydney Institute of Marine Science. He is a Fellow of The Australian Institute of Company Directors, The Royal Australian Chemical Institute, and The Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.


  Professor Hugh Possingham
Photo of Hugh Possingham
Hugh Possingham is Professor of Mathematics and Professor of Ecology at Queensland University, and Professor of Conservation Decisions at Imperial College London. He is an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow and Director of the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions. Professor Possingham has advised policy makers on conservation planning, with many governments using his work for the allocation of funding to threatened species recovery. He co-developed the Marxan software for systematic conservation planning, which is considered the most significant contribution to conservation biology to emerge from Australia's research community. It has been used to plan terrestrial and marine protected area networks for 5 per cent of the Earth's surface, including Australia's Great Barrier Reef. He has published over 400 peer-reviewed papers, and supervised 35 doctoral students.

Page last updated: 28 August 2017