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New acting CEO for Hunter Water

An experienced water industry executive will lead Hunter Water for the next six months as the utility prepares to recruit a new CEO.

Graham Wood will begin as acting CEO on 22 July, following the departure of Hunter Water’s Managing Director Jim Bentley. Bentley left the utility to take up a position as the New South Wales Government’s Chief Executive Officer – Water, managing urban and regional water policy across the state. 

Hunter Water services almost 600,000 people in homes and businesses across the Lower Hunter. As the region’s water storages are at their lowest levels since the Millennium Drought, one of its main focuses is a ‘Love Water’ engagement program encouraging customers to save water.

Wood was most recently Chief Infrastructure Officer at Auckland utility Watercare, and Hunter Water Chairman Terry Lawler said his international and local experience had prepared him for the role.  

“Graham is familiar with Hunter Water and our region, having worked closely with the organisation over the last 18 months helping to inform our strategy and direction,” Lawler said.

“Hunter Water remains committed to its strategic direction, and I know that Graham shares the board’s commitment to continue working with our communities to ‘Love Water’, appropriately respond to current drought conditions, improve our customer experience, continue reductions in network leakage, and improve operational efficiencies and responsibly plan for our water future.”

Hunter Water Chief Investment Officer Darren Clearly will act in the CEO role until Wood takes up the post.