Hunter Water has welcomed the NSW Government’s decision to appoint Dr Jim Bentley as the utility’s new Managing Director.
Dr Bentley has over 20 years’ experience in the infrastructure sector, including 12 years at the UK’s largest water utility, Thames Water, where he excelled in a range of roles including as Manager of the water treatment plants serving London.
In addition to his six years in the UK regulated business side of Thames Water which then serviced 12 million customers daily, Jim also worked for six years in Thames Water’s international division.
For the past 10 years Jim has been living in New Zealand, and joins Hunter Water after leaving the role of Executive Director of the Synergine Group, and Director of the Centre for Infrastructure Research at the University of Auckland.
He previously served as the Chief Executive of Metrowater Ltd, which supplied water and wastewater services to 440,000 people across Auckland City.
Hunter Water Chairman Terry Lawler said Dr Bentley’s appointment was a win for Hunter residents, and followed a rigorous recruitment process.
“Hunter Water’s Managing Director role is one of the region’s most important, presiding over the water supply for half-a-million people and covering an area from Dungog to Wyee, and Bar Beach to Branxton,” Terry said.
“The Managing Director role attracted attention from a range of experienced executives from both Australia and overseas, and ultimately Hunter Water’s Board recommended Dr Bentley as the best candidate.”
“Jim has an impressive track record, including significant improvements in customer satisfaction ratings, reduced operating costs, and reduction in network leakage in his time as Chief Executive of Metrowater.”
“Outside of the water sector, Dr Bentley has managed a $600 million expressway project for the New Zealand Transport Agency, and used his specialist infrastructure management experience to run executive leadership programs for a range of clients.”
“The Board is confident that Dr Bentley’s experience will assist Hunter Water in delivering its strategic vision to provide safe, reliable and efficient water and wastewater services to our community.”
Terry also thanked Hunter Water’s Interim CEO Jeremy Bath, who served in the chief executive role since August 2015.
“I’d like to extend a special thanks to Jeremy Bath, who over the past 11 months as Interim CEO has strengthened Hunter Water’s customer focus, and will now return to his substantive role as the Executive Manager of Hunter Water’s Customer Service division, and the Group Manager of Public Affairs.”
Hunter Water’s Managing Director role was vacated in August 2015 after former Managing Director Kim Wood was appointed as Principal Commissioner of the Queensland Productivity Commission.
Image | Jim Bentley and Terry Lawler