In April after the LNP Government won the state election, the Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney announced John Cotter as the GasFields Commission Queensland Chairman. At the same time he invited submissions from the community on the Commission’s function and potential powers and called for expressions of interest for up to six GasFields Commissioners.
On 19 June, Mr Seeney announced Don Stiller, Ian Hayllor, Ray Brown, Rick Wilkinson, Steven Raine and Shane Charles as Commissioners. Each Commissioner was given a portfolio:
Ray Brown – local government and infrastructure portfolio. Mr Brown is Western Downs Regional Council Mayor.
Shane Charles – business and community portfolio. Mr Charles is a former lawyer and currently serves as Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise Chief Executive Officer.
Ian Hayllor – water and salt management portfolio. Mr Hayllor is a Dalby cotton grower and former Chair of the Basin Sustainability Alliance.
Steven Raine – science and research portfolio. Professor Raine is a University of Southern Queensland Professor of Irrigation and Soil Science.
Don Stiller – land access portfolio. Mr Stiller is a Wandoan landholder and has served in local government for a total of 23 years, 11 as Taroom Shire Council Mayor.
Rick Wilkinson – gas industry development portfolio. Mr Wilkinson is Chief Operating Officer of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association.
Through these portfolios, each tackling current key co-existence issues, and the Commission’s legislative powers and function due to be introduced to the Queensland Parliament later this year, Mr Cotter is confident the Commission will make a difference. “I will know the Commission has been successful when it becomes irrelevant – amicable co-existence will have been achieved.”