New broom for TFGA

A FORMER public servant with experience in irrigation and water management has been appointed the new chief executive of the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association.

Hugh Christie will take over the reins from August 1 replacing Acting CEO Marcus McShane, who has led the organisation since March following the departure of John McKew.

Mr Christie moves to the TFGA from his current role as the General Manager Service Delivery at Southern Rural Water in Victoria. Before this he held senior roles with Tasmanian Irrigation and the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, where he was responsible for operational water management in Tasmania.

TFGA President Ian Sauer said Mr Christie was appointed following an extensive and extremely competitive selection process. “Hugh is an outstanding choice, bringing a wealth of experience from a water, policy and agriculture background” Mr Sauer said. “The appointment marks an exciting new chapter for TFGA and the board is looking forward to working with Hugh to ensure TFGA continues to represent its members’ views effectively and contributes to effective policy outcomes for agriculture.”

Mr Christie said he was looking forward to taking on the role. “I am excited to be joining the TFGA and the look forward to embracing the opportunity this role presents to work with our members and staff, as well as broader stakeholders across the industry, to continue to grow a sustainable, productive agricultural sector in Tasmania,” he said. “The benefits of agriculture flow beyond our members – a vibrant food and fibre sector underpins rural and regional communities, benefiting the whole of Tasmania. “The TFGA is in great shape and I’m looking forward to exploring how we can expand our reach and impact.”

Mr Christie’s life-long association with agriculture started on his family’s grazing property in Western Victoria.

After completing a Bachelor of Environmental Engineering at University of Melbourne, he pursued a water-focused career in irrigated agriculture and natural resource management across south-east Australia. Starting as an irrigation extension officer in South Australia, during the early 2000s, during the past 20 years he has progressed through to high-level water management and policy development roles across Victoria, the ACT and Tasmania. Mr Christie also completed a Master of Business Administration at the Australian Institute of Management Business School earlier this year.