Dantia Announces New Chair and Board Directors

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Lara Grierson

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28 October, 2020

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Media Release

Dantia, Lake Macquarie’s Economic Development Company, today announced the appointment of six new board directors to continue to progress transformational growth and employment outcomes for the Lake Macquarie economy.

The new board is made up of senior business leaders with local and national expertise including Chris Liddell, as Chair. Chris is Cofounder and Director of GoSourcing Pty Ltd, a Non-Affiliate Member and volunteer at Lifeline Australia, and an angel investor with a distinguished career providing technology and consulting services to Australia’s major banks and largest superfunds.

New directors include Katherine O’Regan, Executive Director at Sydney Business Chamber, Gillian Geraghty, Head of Regional Project Delivery at Transport for NSW, Stephen Barr, Director of Barr Property and Planning, Colin Sales, Board Director at Summerland Credit Union and former COO of Mine Super, Josh Jeffress Managing Director of Design Anthology join the board as Directors.

The new members join current board directors, Wayne Lowe, Managing Director of FNZ Australia, Professor Alex Zelinsky AO, Vice-Chancellor and President of University of Newcastle, Councillor Kay Fraser, Mayor of Lake Macquarie City, and Morven Cameron, Chief Executive Officer at Lake Macquarie City Council.

Dantia’s CEO Peter Francis said the calibre and experience of the refreshed board reflects the maturity of the organisation and will extend the reach and scale of Dantia’s capability.

“This is a pivotal time for Dantia and Lake Macquarie City. Dantia has evolved into a dynamic, trusted and widely recognised partner for investors, corporate advisers, and domestic and international companies looking to invest and grow in the City,” Peter said.

“The refreshed board sets us up with the right skill sets, capacity, capability and guidance to reach into higher value markets, attract new human and business capital and greater levels of international investment.”

Peter credited former and current board members for managing the renewal and selection process.

“I’m extremely grateful for the passion, insight and commitment of our continuing and departing board members who have helped build the organisation and supported our achievements to date,” he said.

Operating for six years, Dantia is a unique model of independent economic development, delivering projects of significant scale and volume.

“This year we’ve achieved huge progress on key transformational projects including the approval of Winarch Capital’s $235 million redevelopment of the 90-hectare Morisset Golf Course and secured Costco and Green Capital Group at the ex-Pasminco site creating 1.5 billion in economic benefits and 1,325 jobs,” Peter said.

“We’ve supported major residential developments across the City resulting in the construction of more than 2,400 dwellings in the past 3 years and paved the way for delivery of key tourism developments including the $75 million BlackRock Motor Park at Wakefield and the $35 million Trinity Point project in Morisset.

Peter explained that while COVID-19 has provided some big challenges, it has reaffirmed the accuracy and foresight of Dantia’s economic development strategy.

“Our pre-COVID strategy is incredibly relevant. Strategies to stimulate the construction sector, develop a sovereign manufacturing pipeline, adaptively reuse major coal and energy infrastructure and leverage the City’s natural environment and location to build internationally significant tourism product are more important now than ever.”

Incoming Chair Chris Liddell said Dantia is uniquely placed to accelerate and support city-shaping projects, despite the impacts of COVID-19.

“By uniting commercial parties and government to deliver meaningful and scalable projects, Dantia is creating real jobs for the current and future generations of the City,” Chris said.

Chris, a successful founder, entrepreneur and consultant, can see the limitless opportunities for growth that Dantia as a catalyst can facilitate.

“I know first-hand what we can offer to new residents, investors and domestic and international companies,” Chris said.

“With large tracts of land, access to skilled workforce, strong population growth, lower operational costs and a central geographic position, Lake Macquarie is a prime location for investment for astute business leaders.”

– ENDS –

See full Board biographies here