Minister for Defence – Appointments to the Woomera Prohibited Area Advisory Board

The Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith, is pleased to announce that the Government has appointed Mr Stephen Loosley as Chair and Mr Paul Holloway as the Deputy Chair of the Woomera Prohibited Area (WPA) Advisory Board.

The selection of Mr Loosley and Mr Holloway was based on their independent experience in public administration; strategic experience in security and defence issues and the South Australian resources industry, respectively.

Mr Loosley is a former Australian Senator and Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, and has been Chair of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute since 2008.

Mr Holloway was the South Australian Minister for Mineral Resources Development from 2002 to 2011.

The WPA Advisory Board will monitor and report on the balance of national security and economic interests in the WPA; oversee the implementation of the coexistence policy arrangements; and foster strategic relationships between Defence and non-Defence users of the WPA.

The roles and functions of the Board are to monitor and recommend amendments to coexistence policies and procedures; develop high-level relationships between Defence and the resources sector; resolve disputes between Defence and non-Defence users; report annually on the balance of interests in the WPA and conduct a review every seven years of the balance of interests in the WPA.

The Board is supported by membership from relevant Commonwealth and State agencies and secretariat support from the joint Commonwealth/South Australian Government Woomera Prohibited Area Coordination Office.  The Board will meet on a quarterly basis.

The Minister for Defence and the Minister for Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson also announced today the next step in opening up the WPA to minerals exploration and resources development.

Media Contact:

Mr Smith’s Office: Andrew Porter (02) 6277 7800 or 0419 474 392
Defence Media Operations: (02) 6127 1999


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