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Labor overhauls Renewal SA board

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The Malinauskas Government has replaced four board members at Renewal SA and appointed five new ones – including the state’s top public servant – in a bid to address the state’s housing crisis.

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Planning Minister Nick Champion announced a short time ago the appointment of Flinders University deputy chancellor Stephen Hains AM as Renewal SA’s new chair, taking over from prominent Adelaide property figure Con Tragakis.

Tragakis, a Marshall Government appointment, has led the urban renewal authority’s board since August 2019.

Hains will be joined by four new appointees:

Planning Minister Nick Champion said the new board “matches the new direction our government is taking, combatting housing market failure and addressing the shortage of housing across the state”.

“I am confident we will work closely with local communities, councils, industry and not-for profit organisations ensuring well-planned and better-connected neighbourhoods,” he said in a statement.

“I appreciate the service previous URA Board Members led by Con Tragakis have provided and thank them for their expertise and service to South Australia.

“Projects at St. Clair and Forestville along with building a pipeline of projects has given Renewal SA a good base to build on.”

Only two directors, Kimberley Gillan and Anne Skipper, were reappointed amidst the shakeup.

Gillan is Charter Hall’s Asset Manager and State Lead for South Australia while Skipper is a company director with more than 30 years’ experience. She is currently chair of Australian healthcare group Silverchain.

Helen Fulcher, a former EPA CEO and director at Renewal SA since 2012, and Phil Rundle, former CBRE Asia Pacific managing director, have left the board due to personal circumstances, according to the state government.

Former HomeStart Finance CFO David Hughes’ term on the board was not renewed.

The appointments see the size of the urban renewal authority’s board expand from six members to seven.

“A close focus of this Board will be considering new and innovative ways to deliver housing and commercial projects leveraging the resources of governments and the private sector,” new chair Stephen Hains said in a statement.

“The Board will be focused on the challenges ahead and I am confident we have the right people who will bring together their various expertise from different sectors of our economy.”

A Renewal SA spokesperson said all board appointments were reviewed ahead of their expiry on July 30.

“As per standard process, all appointments are reviewed when a term cycle comes to an end. The Minister and Cabinet then make recommendations to the Governor in Executive Council for approval,” the spokesperson said.

The former Marshall Liberal Government also shook up Renewal SA’s board after coming to power in 2018.

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