The Growth Plan Partnership Steering Committee

The Growth Plan Partnership Steering Committee

Cr. Michael Bennett (Chair) – Shire President, Shire of Dardanup


Councillor Bennett is passionate about the community, developing the social and built infrastructure and making sure that there is an even spread of service availability across the various areas of the Shire.

In addition to a local focus; Cr Bennett is also an advocate for local government across the state. Representing the Shire on the South West Zone of WA Local Government Association, Cr Bennett has over many years had input into the development of association policy and influencing decisions that the association takes forward to challenge government.

Councillor Bennett has also provided mentoring to new Shire Presidents to assist them in coming to terms with their responsibilities and obligations.

Through Cr Bennett’s leadership the Shire of Dardanup has made the best of the opportunity to raise the profile of issues that affect the industry by putting member motions to the annual general meeting of WALGA. Over time the Shire has been a regular contributor to the debate that initiates action to lobby government for change.

Cr. Bennett is a strong leader who always puts the good of the community first, is fair in all his dealing and very supportive of listening always to everyone’s point of view before making important decisions.

Mayor Gary Brennan – Mayor, City of Bunbury


Gary Brennan was elected Mayor in October 2013 on a platform of experience, passion for Bunbury, change, reconnecting with the community and providing effective leadership to the elected Council and the Bunbury community. Since then the City of Bunbury Council has made a number of strategic improvements including providing clear organisational objectives, introduced fundamental changes to rating, instilled budgetary discipline and reduced operational costs, reduced the number of Committees and shifted operational focus to more facilitative.

The Council has also initiated town planning changes to meet the market and re-established partnerships with the business community and the government.

Gary was raised in Bunbury. He is married to Robyn, their children and 5 grandchildren live in the South West.  Gary has a number of tertiary qualifications including an MBA and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.  He is a Board Member of the South West Development Commission and also volunteers as a Justice of the Peace.

Cr. Murray Scott – Shire President, Shire of Capel


Cr Murray Scott has lived in Elgin in the centre of the Shire of Capel his entire life.  In his mid-twenties, Murray and his wife, Megan, purchased a dairy farm and became self-employed until finishing their time on the farm in 2008.  Over many years of their commitment to dairy farming, Murray and Megan also raised three children and supported the community sporting groups which their children were committed to.  Both Murray and his wife became Life Members of the Boyanup Basketball Club and the Donnybrook Basketball Association.

Murray was elected to the Shire of Capel Council in 1993 after strong encouragement from the then President and Murray’s loyal neighbour, Bill Scott.  Murray went on to serve as Deputy President from 1999 – 2001.  He was proudly elected to represent the Shire of Capel as their Shire President in 2001.  Murray is still passionate about his community after 16 years in this role.

A strong advocate for the retention of “local” governments, Murray Scott has displayed a passion for the rural community with his ongoing commitments to the volunteer bush fire service having been a member of the Elgin Bushfire Brigade for over 40 years, and Deputy Chief Bushfire Control Officer for 13 years.  Murray was awarded the National Clasp for 35 years volunteer bush fire service by the Governor General in October 2006.

Murray Scott has lead the Shire through one of the fastest growth periods not only for the Shire but for the State with the Shire of Capel experiencing an average annual growth of 7.7% during the 2001-2011 period.  The development of the Dalyellup Estate raised many challenges for the Shire of Capel and Murray, through his leadership, has guided the Council through this period to achieve an outstanding community development.

Murray has represented Council as its delegate on the Boyanup Hall Advisory Committee, Bunbury Outer Ring Road Community Liaison Group, Bunbury Wellington Economic Alliance, Dalyellup Sports Council, Geographe Catchment Council (Geocatch), Heritage Interpretation Plan Working Group, Regional Council (Waste) Steering Committee, the South West Regional Road Group and the Bunbury Geographe Growth Plan Partnership Steering Committee.

In 2013 Murray was awarded the Merit Award by the WA Local Government Association as part of its Honours Awards program.

Cr. Tania Jackson – Shire of Harvey


Tania lives in Australind and has been the Harvey Shire president since 2011. She has been a shire councillor since 1997 and deputy shire president for eight years. Over the years Tania has represented local government on Tourism South West and is currently a member of Kemerton Industrial Park Coordinating Committee, Bunbury Wellington Economic Alliance, Myalup Wellington (Water for Food) Ministerial Group, Peron Naturalist Partnership-Coastal Adaption Action, Greater Bunbury Regional Cities Development Plan Steering Group and South West Development Commission. She is a volunteer ambulance officer with Harvey St John Ambulance.

David Kerr – President, Bunbury Geographe Chamber of Commerce & Industries

David has a broad range of consultancy and training experience across industry and government groups and has undertaken senior management roles involving organisational restructuring and project management. He has managed his own consultancy business since 1989 and worked throughout Australia.

Key activities have included:

  • business and organisational reviews,
  • feasibility studies, strategic planning,
  • community engagement,
  • project management,
  • marketing and group facilitation

David is the General Manager of the Bunbury Dolphin Discovery Centre, President of the Bunbury Geographe Chamber of Commerce and Industry and sits on a wide range of community Boards.

David is a creative and strategic thinker and seeks to implement change through consultative processes that develop organisational and individual commitment and actions towards clearly identified outcomes.

Nicolas Fertin – CEO, Southern Ports Authority (Bunbury, Albany, Esperance)


Nicolas Fertin was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Southern Ports Authority (SPA) in February 2015.

Nicolas moved to Australia 18 years ago and his family have called it home ever since.

In the early part of his career Nicolas worked in the manufacturing sector. He moved to Australia while he worked for Mars Incorporated, a large international food manufacturer.

Ten years ago, Nicolas left the food manufacturing sector to join the infrastructure and transport sector. During that time, Nicolas led international teams in the Ports, Property Management industries and, more recently, within Australia in the Rail industry.

He enjoys leading multiple business units balancing the need to preserve local priorities with the need to address the regional or global opportunities and challenges.

Nicolas has been actively engaged with significant supply chain transformations in Europe, the US and Australia. At Asciano, Nicolas was instrumental in delivering the Western Australia Kewdale Rail Customer precinct which saw significant private investment delivering a transformation of the Freight Terminal, extracting supply chain costs, reducing transit time and trucks on the road.

Ian Telfer – Chair, Bunbury Wellington Economic Alliance


Ian has worked in the Forestry Industry since graduating from University, primarily working in the South West of  Western Australia.  He is currently based in Bunbury and resides  in Donnybrook.

Ian has been in a senior management role for 16 years, appointed as CEO in 2014 (previously General Manager then Chief Operating Officer). He is active in industry, community and Not For Profit organisations including current roles as:

  • Chairman Bunbury Wellington Economic Alliance (BWEA)
  • Director Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA)
  • President Forest Industries Federation of WA (FIFWA)
  • President Pathways South West
  • Chairman Investing in our Youth
  • Chairman St John Ambulance sub centre Donnybrook

Ian is also a Fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation and a long term Member and previous Secretary of the Rotary Club Bunbury Leschenault.

Ian’s previous community roles included Chairman of Basketball South West and a Member of Edith Cowan University, South West Advisory Board. He is a Past Assistant Governor Rotary District and received the honourable Paul Harris Fellow Medal.  Ian is a Life Member of Basketball South West.

Rebecca Ball – Acting CEO, South West Development Commission







Rebecca Ball is the Acting Chief Executive Officer at the South West Development Commission.

Rebecca brings to the Commission 20 years’ of experience in senior advisory and management roles in both public and private sectors in Australia and overseas.  She was most recently the executive director at the Office of Multicultural Interests, and a member of the corporate executive of the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.

Her previous roles have included State Director WA with Austrade Perth, Trade and Investment Commissioner Indonesia with Austrade Jakarta, and Trade Commissioner South Asia with Austrade New Delhi.  Rebecca is also a Non-Executive Director of the Community Arts Network (CAN) WA.

Rebecca is well respected and highly skilled in delivering strategic, collaborative outcomes and effectively leveraging private, non-government and public sector networks.

Duncan Anderson – Managing Director, South Regional TAFE







After 15 years service in the Australia Army, Duncan was appointed as the Managing Director of the South West Institute of Technology. Leading this organisation through a complex change agenda, Duncan was subsequently appointed as the Managing Director of South Regional TAFE, responsible for all public training from Harvey to Esperance.

In this leadership role, Duncan has undertaken a wide variety of community leadership roles. Duncan has chaired the South West Workforce Alliance, the Treasurer of the Bunbury Wellington Economic Alliance and the President of the Capel RSL. Duncan has also been appointed as the Chair of Regional Development Australia South West, a position he has held for over 2 years.

Duncan cites Regional Economic Development as a complex, rewarding and extremely fulfilling role with the board comprising of leaders from all key regional industries. Involvement in projects of strategic significance to community grants highlight the breadth of the responsibilities of this small and committed team