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Hunter Water welcomes familiar face as new MD

Hunter Water’s acting CEO Darren Cleary is stepping into a new role as the utility’s managing director.

Announcing the change last week, New South Wales (NSW) Minister for Water, Property and Housing Melinda Pavey said Cleary’s appointment would provide business continuity and direction for the utility.

“I am confident Darren will continue to provide strong leadership at Hunter Water, building on his extensive experience at the agency, including most recently as acting Chief Executive Officer since February,” Pavey said.

“In his previous role as Chief Investment Officer, Darren was responsible for leading the planning and delivery of Hunter Water’s $600 million infrastructure program, and coordinated Hunter Water’s drought response campaign ‘Love Water’.

“Darren brings more than 25 years’ experience working for utilities in the water sector and his appointment will allow Hunter Water to continue to deliver on its outstanding customer experience, while advancing key policy and strategy areas.”

Cleary holds a number of directorships, including on the Board of the Committee for the Hunter and is a member of the Advisory Board of the University of Newcastle’s Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER).

Hunter Water Chairman Terry Lawler said Cleary’s appointment to the role followed a rigorous recruitment process that included international contenders.

“This is a challenging time for everyone in our organisation and community,” he said.

“We are confident that selecting Darren to lead Hunter Water on a permanent basis ensures Hunter Water remains well positioned to continue to deliver its essential services to the community.”

Cleary will succeed former Managing Director, Jim Bentley, who was appointed as the NSW Government’s Chief Executive Officer for the NSW Water Sector in July last year.