Robyn McLeod, former Thiess company director, former AWU official now a director of DeSal plant customer Melbourne Water
Reader Mr P writes:
John Thwaites B.Sc, LLB and GAICD
Mr Thwaites was Deputy Premier of Victoria from 1999 to 2007. He has held various ministerial positions during his career including being the Minister for Environment, Water and Climate Change.
He is currently the Professorial Fellow and Chair at Monash Sustainability Institute, the Chair at ClimateWorks Australia, Australian Building Codes Board, The Peter Cullen Trust and Brotherhood of St Laurence.
He is also a Director at The Australian Green Building Council, member of the Leadership Council at the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and a Consultant at Maddocks Solicitors.
Mr Thwaites was appointed as Chair of Melbourne Water on 1 October, 2015.
And look who else pops up! The former AWU official, former Thiess employee, former director of a Thiess company board and current best friend of the former Prime Minister (and fellow B Wilson club member) J Gillard.
Funny she forgot to mention she worked for the AWU and Thiess, both parties to the DeSal plant financial extravaganza.
B.A, B.Ed, Dip.Ed and GAICD
Robyn McLeod has held the positions of Independent Commissioner for Water Security in South Australia, National Director of Water at KPMG, and Executive Director of Major Projects, Water with the Department of Sustainability and Environment, Victoria.
She was Chief of Staff to the Victorian Energy Resources and Ports Minister, and an Advisor to the Victorian Environment and Education Minister. Ms McLeod has previously worked in Higher Education to industry, Industrial Relations, and Secondary Teaching.
Robyn is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and completed the Senior Executive Fellows Program at The Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Previous Board positions include as an inaugural Director of The Australian Centre for Social Innovation and Chair of this organizations Risk and Audit Committee.
Ms McLeod was appointed to the Melbourne Water Board on 1 October, 2015.
So what does Melbourne Water say about the decision to start sending more money to the DeSal business?
The Minister acts on the advice of the water authorities - from the Melbourne Water media release dated 6 March 2016:
Melbourne Water Managing Director, Michael Wandmaker, said given the year on year reduction in storage volumes, it was appropriate to access additional water to ensure security of supply.
“The desalination plant supplies rainfall-independent, large-scale drinking water. It is part of Melbourne’s diverse range of actions and initiatives to reduce the pressure on our drinking water supplies, including recycled water projects, local stormwater re-use initiatives and improved water conservation,” said Mr Wandmaker.
“The 50 billion litre order will help refill Melbourne’s water storages and place us in a better position to rebuild storage volumes, supporting population growth, climate change and year to year weather fluctuations. It also provides a buffer against extreme events like bushfire and severe drought.
“When talking about something as critical as drinking water for Melbourne and surrounds, we need a system we can count on.”
The recommendation to order water was based on detailed modelling, analysis and long-term scenario planning.
It considered a range of factors such as the best balance of security of supply, current and forecast storage conditions, water demands, water supply operations, Bureau of Meteorology outlooks and cost to customers.
The 50 billion litre desalinated water order is expected to increase the average residential household water bill by around $12 in 2016/17.
A summary document explaining the water industry’s technical analysis that informed the Minister’s water order decision can be found at melbournewater.com.au/desalination
Looks like they were ready to roll with the PR - this video was released over the weekend:
No Robyn, we haven't forgotten.
It might be useful for the directors of Melbourne Water to know that Ms McLeod was also a director of a Thiess company, along with Bruce Wilson:
And if directors are having trouble finding the original EBA between Thiess and its workers, they can see it here - proudly displaying the appearance by former AWU official Robyn McLeod who'd mysteriously moved to the employer side working for Thiess:
Wonder why Ms McLeod's bio doesn't record those halcyon AWU and Thiess days?