A former Goulburn man has been appointed as chairperson of the Biodiversity Conservation Trust.
Environment Minister Matt Kean announced Niall Blair's appointment to the body last week. Mr Blair served in the NSW Upper House for nine years, including four years as the state's primary industries minister until 2019.
Mr Kean said Mr Blair's over 20 years' experience across government and private sectors made him ideally suited to lead the BCT Board into the future.
READ MORE: Niall Blair resigns from the ministry
"Mr Blair's strong ties to and deep understanding of the agricultural sector is going to be key in ensuring the protection, conservation and management of biodiversity on private land continues to be a priority," Mr Kean said.
"(He) brings with him outstanding decision making and leadership skills, and his extensive experience in stakeholder management will prove to be an invaluable asset to the BCT."
Mr Blair is currently Professor of Food Sustainability at Charles Sturt University and co-chair of the NSW Circular Economy Research taskforce.
He said he was excited to continue working with the other six board members and executive teams in the BCT as they continue to support and encourage private landholders to participate in land conservation.
"The BCT has a track record of providing solutions to private landholders to help conserve and protect their land," Mr Blair said.
"I am honoured to accept this position and to continue a legacy that has so far committed over three million hectares of private land in NSW to conservation."
The BCT aims to support private land conservation through co-operative arrangements and by promoting public awareness of biodiversity conservation.
Mr Blair, a former deputy leader of the NSW Nationals, served nine years in state government including as NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Water, Lands, Trade and Industry and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council.
He resigned from the ministry in 2019, citing in part the aggression levelled at him over fish deaths in the Menindee Lakes.
He was previously chair of the Nationals Goulburn Electoral Council but resigned his party membership in 2020. In October, 2019 he was appointed as a professor at Charles Sturt University.
In 2020, Mr Blair was appointed to oversee a review of Victoria's fire service model.
He Blair grew up in Goulburn and attended Mulwaree High School.
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