New PIRSA Chief Executive

SOUTH Australian Agriculture Food and Fisheries Minister Rory McEwen has welcomed the appointment of Geoff Knight as the new Chief Executive of Primary Industries and Resources SA (PIRSA).

Previously PIRSA’s Deputy Chief Executive, Knight was recruited from the Department of Treasury and Finance in 1999 to head up strategy and finance in PIRSA.

“Geoff has been the acting head of the agency since Jim Hallion moved to the Department of Transport, Energy and Infrastructure about 18 months ago,” McEwen said.

“In that time he has stepped up to the challenge of running what is arguably one of the most diverse State Government agencies in the state.

“Covering mining as well as the food, wine, fisheries and aquaculture sectors, Planning SA, State/Local Government Relations and the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), PIRSA is central to the future prosperity and well being of South Australia.

“Geoff has shown leadership on a range of important issues, including the State Government’s drought response, significant areas of policy reform, efforts to reduce red tape across government and realignment of the department’s strategic focus,” McEwen said.

Mr Knight said he was delighted with the appointment.

“While the department’s efforts in driving growth in mining (through the PACE initiative) and in aquaculture have been tremendously successful, we face enormous challenges in other areas, particularly as most of our agricultural and horticultural sectors grapple with one of our most serious droughts in history,” he said.

Mineral Resources Development and Urban Development Planning Minister Paul Holloway also welcomed the appointment.

“Geoff’s appointment is important in maintaining the momentum of the current boom in mining and in continuing implementation of reform in the planning system in South Australia, both key strategic issues for the State Government,” Holloway said.

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