Dr Dianne Snowden

Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage, Brian Wightman has appointed Dr Dianne Snowden chairperson for the Tasmanian Heritage Council.

I’m sure that Dr Snowden is highly qualified and competent.

But I believe there is a huge conflict of interest in this appointment.

Dr Snowden is the partner of Forestry Chief Bob Gordon, a government agency described as rogue by Greens MP Kim Booth, which regularly confronts the Tasmanian Heritage Council with issues of huge environmental, historical and cultural heritage significance; witness the story published today on Tasmanian Times: Forestry Tasmania’s arrogant trashing of Aboriginal and settler history

Here’s what Minister Wightman said at the weekend:

The Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage, Brian Wightman, today announced the appointment of a new Chairperson for the Tasmanian Heritage Council.

Dr Dianne Snowden has been appointed for a three year term, and takes up the role on January 1st, 2012.

Dr Snowden is a notable Tasmanian-educated historian, who’s made a significant contribution to the field of historic heritage and the wider community.

“Dr Snowden is extremely well-qualified for this position, and I’m delighted to congratulate her on her appointment,” Mr Wightman said.

“There were several impressive candidates who applied. Dr Snowden was chosen from a very competitive field, after an Expression of Interest process.

“She takes on the important role of leading the protection and management of Tasmania’s precious cultural heritage,” he said.

Mr Wightman also thanked the outgoing Chairman, Mr Michael Lynch.

“Michael’s passion for Tasmania’s heritage has been truly inspiring,” Mr Wightman said.

“As Chair, he has shown great leadership over the past six years, and a fierce commitment protecting our historic cultural heritage.

“Personally, it’s been a pleasure getting to know Michael, and I want to thank him for his significant contribution.

“The Heritage Council plays an important and often difficult role working with property owners, developers and the planning system to ensure our most important places are protected and responsibly managed,” he said.

Now that Dr Snowden’s appointment has been confirmed, the selection panel to appoint all the members of the new Heritage Council can start work.

A decision on the full Council make-up is expected by late-December, so they can take their positions on January 1st, 2012.

The Tasmanian Heritage Council website currently lists the following council members:

Mr Michael Lynch Chairperson
Mr Kim Evans Director of National Parks and Wildlife
Mr Roger Howlett Person with expertise in planning
Mr Brad Williams Person with expertise in archaeology
Mr Peter Cripps Person with expertise in architecture
Dr Caroline Evans Person with expertise in history
Mrs Robyn Jones Person representing community interests
Mr Jon Deeprose Representing the Tourism Industry Council Tasmania
Ald. Sandra French Representing the Local Government Association of Tasmania
Mrs Mary Ramsay Representing the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Assocation
Rev J Allan Thompson Representing the Tasmanian Council of Churches

It appears from the website at least, that Dr Snowden is an outside appointment.