Former long-serving WA Local Government Association (WALGA) chief executive officer, Ricky Burges PSM, has been appointed Chair of Western Australia’s Great Southern Development Commission (GSDC).
WA Regional Development Minister, Don Punch, announced the appointment of Ms Burges (pictured) today.
Ms Burges led the WALGA from 2000. Her appointment came at a critical time for the organisation, when the three previous organisations representing Local Government in WA were being merged into a single association. She served for close to two decades before tendering her resignation in late 2018.
As part of today’s announcement, Minister Punch said Ms Burges brings with her senior leadership experience across the public sector in Western Australia, as the former CEO of WALGA, the Perth Zoo and Director General of the former Department of Culture and Arts.
“Our Regional Development Commissions play such a crucial role in connecting business with Government, and I have no doubt the Great Southern Development Commission will continue to make those valuable connections under the leadership of Ricky Burges,” the Minister said.
“I wish Ms Burges all the best in her new role as chair of the GSDC.”
Ms Burges’ appointment follows the departure of outgoing chair Bruce Manning, who has retired after more than 21 years of service to the Development Commission.
Minister Punch said Mr Manning built strong networks throughout the region and initiated the development of some very significant projects including the construction of the Albany Entertainment Centre, the Albany Waterfront, the Katanning Saleyards and town centre improvements.
“I thank Bruce Manning for his leadership spanning more than two decades, which has driven a substantial diversification of the region’s primary production and economic base,” said Mr Punch.