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Corporate Governance

The focus this year has been on strengthening our corporate governance framework, consisting of:

  • governance bodies
  • risk and fraud management
  • audit and assurance activitieS
  • human resources/performance
  • policies and guidelines.

Our system of governance and accountability for public resources is guided by the PGPA Act, and associated legislative instruments. As a small agency, we focus on compliance whilst maintaining flexibility in our approach, so we can target our efforts on helping those most in need.

Shared Services Arrangement

PM&C has agreed, under a Shared Services Agreement, to provide certain corporate services to the Agency. Executed on 14 January 2020, the agreement has the agencies working collaboratively to meet specific obligations of both parties and meet service delivery and reporting requirements.

Committee Structure

Our governance structure comprises three main bodies—the Executive Group, Advisory Board and Audit and Risk Committee. In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Agency also stood up a Crisis Management Team. The relationships between the governance bodies is shown in Figure 11.

Figure 11 Drought and Flood Committee Structure
Figure 11: Committee Structure


The Executive Group comprises the Coordinator-General, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Directors. The role of the Executive Group is to govern and provide leadership to the Agency in accordance with its outcome, purpose and objectives. It also provides advice, assistance and assurance to the Coordinator-General as the Accountable Authority for the Agency. The Executive Group considers significant strategic matters and interdependencies impacting the Agency.


The Advisory Board comprises members with on-the-ground industry knowledge, as well as experience working with government and non-government organisations. The Board plays a vital role in providing expert advice to the Coordinator-General. During 2019–20, the Board met six times and discussed:

  • The 2019 Queensland Monsoon Trough flood strategy for long-term recovery and resilience.
  • Progress of recovery in North Queensland.
  • The Australian Government’s drought response.
  • Communication and engagement activities.
  • Opportunities to improve access to information and services for affected individuals, businesses and communities.

The following members left the Advisory Board during 2019–20: Mr Daryl Quinlivan, former Secretary, Department of Agriculture, and Cr Gregory Campbell, Mayor, Cloncurry Shire. Ms Tracey Hayes OAM, Chair, Darwin Waterfront Corporation, stood down in February 2020 to contest the Northern Territory election.

Figure 12 Advisory Board Meeting, July 2020
Figure 12: Advisory Board Meeting, July 2020

(L to R) Mr David Galvin, Ms Fiona Simson, Mr Don Heatley OAM, the Hon Shane Stone AC QC (Chair), Dr Wendy Craik AM, Mr Nico Padovan PSM (Chief Operating Officer), the Hon Fiona Nash, Mr Gavin Baskett
Not photographed: the Hon Simon Crean and Secretary Andrew Metcalfe AO

The Audit and Risk Committee, established in compliance with section 45 of the PGPA Act, provides independent advice to the Coordinator-General on the Agency’s financial and performance reporting responsibilities, risk oversight and management, system of internal controls and governance arrangements.

The Committee’s Charter is available on the Agency’s website at https://www.droughtandflood.gov.au/reporting

In 2019–20, the committee had five formal meetings and one induction meeting. The committee consists of four external members (including the chair). The members, their experience and meeting attendance is outlined in Table 6.

Table 6: Audit and Risk Committee membership 2019-20

Member name

Qualifications, knowledge, skills or experience (include formal and informal as relevant)

Number of meetings attended / total number of meetings

Total annual remuneration

Lembit Suur (Chair)

Mr Suur is a recognised leader and innovator of public sector governance design and practice, process improvement and efficiency, performance monitoring, reporting and accountability structures. He has had extensive experience in central government budgeting and resourcing processes, and led development and implementation of PGPA Act 2013.

Mr Suur holds a Bachelor of Law/Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from the University of Sydney as well as postgraduate qualifications from the University of New South Wales, Stanford University and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

6 / 6


Ken Clarke

Mr Clarke has an extensive career in public administration, with particular experience in public finance and governance and more recently, in the private sector as a consultant and company Director. Specific strengths include financial analysis, project and program evaluation, risk analysis, pricing policies, public policy development, strategic and business planning, problem analysis and resolution, public sector governance and resource management.

Mr Clarke holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) from the University of Western Australia as well as a Graduate Diploma in Management from Stanford University. Mr Clarke is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Institute of Public Administration.

5 / 6

11, 945.44

Emma Robinson

Ms Robinson is a beef producer from North Queensland, bringing extensive industry experience to the Committee. She formed the Beef Collaboration Project, which aims to develop opportunities to create new value and sustainability through farmer collaboration. Ms Robinson was named the Queensland 2016 RIRDC Rural Women of the Year and in 2015 undertook a Winston Churchill Trust Fellowship to research farmer cooperatives and beef supply chain innovation in the UK, US and Canada. She has previously worked in the Queensland Department of Agriculture and is a former director of Beef CRC Limited.

Ms Robinson holds a Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of Queensland and a Masters of Science from Swinburne University. Ms Robinson is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors

6 / 6

14, 931.80

Peter Conran AM

Mr Conran was Director General of the Western Australian Department of the Premier and Cabinet until August 2016. He has over 30 years of policy and leadership experience within the Western Australian, Northern Territory and Commonwealth Governments and many senior leadership roles during his long public service career. In 2009, he was made a member of the Order of Australia for service to the executive arm of government, particularly through advisory roles and to strategic policy development and implementation, and to intergovernmental relations at both state and federal levels.

Mr Conran is a qualified as a legal practitioner and is a member of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

4 / 6



In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Agency mobilised a Crisis Management Team (CMT) to monitor, review and manage our response to the evolving situation. Membership of the CMT consisted of the:

  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Executive Director, Corporate and Governance
  • Executive Director, Communications and Engagement
  • Executive Director, Flood and Data
  • Executive Director, Drought
  • Director People
  • Director, Corporate
  • Assistant Director, People.

The CMT met 18 times in 2019–20 and enacted the Agency’s Pandemic Plan and a Workplace Return Transition Plan.