Seasoned campaigner heads biosphere group


Keeping watch: Long time campaigner for the environment Greg Hunt, above, is the new executive officer of the Western Port Biosphere Reserve Foundation. Picture: Supplied

LONG time environmental campaigner Greg Hunt has been appointed executive officer of the Western Port Biosphere Reserve Foundation.

When announcing Mr Hunt’s appointment at the foundation’s annual general meeting, foundation chair Duncan Malcolm, that the new executive officer was “not the Flinders MP”.

“It’s not Greg Hunt whose job as federal minister for health means he’s a bit busy for this job, but rather the Greg Hunt who many in the region will know as the previous executive officer of the South East Councils Climate Change Alliance,” Mr Malcolm said.

“Greg brings deep knowledge of the area, broad networks and a great love for Western Port.

“With his background in education, positions in state and local government and in environmental organisations, his experience will be very helpful as the biosphere builds upon the body of work delivered over the last 16 years.”

Mr Hunt, who lists his work experience before joining the climate change alliance as having being a science and environmental studies teacher, a bureaucrat writing education policy, principal of the Zoo School, education manager at Melbourne Museum and National Manager of Waterkeepers Australia. He has been a board member of Chisholm TAFE, on the Southern Melbourne Committee of Regional Development Australia and on the Central Coastal Board.

Mr Hunt is a keen birdwatcher and spends much of his leisure time walking the tracks and trails of Australia with binoculars around his neck.

“I’m very pleased to be back in the region of Western Port, working in the context of conservation and development,” he said.

“If we can show models for how these very big challenges for human society can be approached, we will have been very useful indeed.  Where else would we find a place of such environmental significance, natural wonder and community challenge? And it is here on our doorstep.

“We all have to live somewhere, we consume goods and services and yet we want the best environment possible. That trying to optimise these legs of the trifecta is very, very hard doesn’t mean we don’t try.

“We do try, but we try very thoughtfully, very carefully and with the support of the Western Port community.”

He replaces the outgoing executive officer, Cecelia Witton.

The Hastings based non-profit biosphere foundation has since 2003, been working to “create a sustainable future for Western Port – environmentally, socially and economically”.

It is financially supported by the municipalities of Mornington Peninsula, Frankston, Casey, Bass Coast and Cardinia, state and federal governments, Melbourne Water, Parks Victoria and Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority and philanthropists.

First published in the Western Port News – 12 December 2018


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