New Chair excited to lead feral pig plan

New Chair excited to lead feral pig plan

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In a coup for the National Feral Pig Action Plan, it has found an experienced agribusiness leader to continue its development.

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EXCITED: John Maher, new Chair of the Steering Group leading the development of the National Feral Pig Action Plan.

EXCITED: John Maher, new Chair of the Steering Group leading the development of the National Feral Pig Action Plan.

In a coup for the National Feral Pig Action Plan, it has found an experienced agribusiness leader to continue its development.

John Maher has been confirmed as the Chair of the Steering Group and as Chair, will play an active role working with program coordinator, Dr Heather Channon, and a wide range of stakeholders to deliver a preliminary National Feral Pig Action Plan to the Federal Department of Agriculture by January 2021.

The $1.4 million Federal Government initiative, overseen by Australian Pork Ltd, is developing a national framework for feral pig management.

"John is highly regarded for his significant leadership skills, built over more than 25 years in high-level executive roles across Australian agribusiness," APL CEO, Margo Andrae said.

"John's experience with major rural agencies and recently as Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (ILSC) Group CEO, reflects the scope of the National Feral Pig Action Plan.

"Farmers, traditional owners, environmental managers and regional communities are united against feral pigs.

"Feral pigs cost Australian agriculture more than $100 million a year and wild populations in Asia and Europe have spread African swine fever across national borders, killing millions of domestic pigs.

"A large-scale outbreak of ASF here could cost nearly $2 billion over five years."

Mr Maher served as ILSC Group CEO from June 2016 to September 2019, leading a major company transformation while overseeing the management of 2.5 million hectares of land, mainly for agricultural and tourism purposes.

He gained a high profile in Australian agribusiness during his nine-year tenure as managing director and CEO of Ruralco Holdings, which was preceded by senior roles at Wesfarmers and AWB, where he led the Landmark business (now Nutrien).

Mr Maher, who currently serves as a director on several agribusiness boards, said he identified strongly with the objectives of the project.

"I'm excited to play this leadership role to better manage feral pigs through coordinated and consolidated national planning," he said.

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