In a late Friday, pre-Christmas, announcement, Treasurer Joe Hockey has appointed a deselected Liberal MP, Patrick Secker, to the Foreign Investment Review Board.
The appointment is part-time for five years.
In his announcement, Hockey said: “Mr Secker has extensive experience in agriculture and agribusiness over a number of decades. His appointment to the Foreign Investment Review Board fulfils a commitment by the Government to expand this area of the Board’s expertise.”
Secker was the Liberal member for Barker in South Australia for 15 years from 1998. He left the Parliament at this year’s election, having lost preselection to Mount Gambier lawyer Tony Pasin in March 2012. In a plebiscite of 282 party members, Secker won just 78 votes to Pasin’s 164, with a third candidate polling 40 votes.
Secker had attracted criticism for under-performance and poor fundraising in the electorate, and for employing three members of his family in his electorate office.
In recent weeks, the Abbott government has appointed the defeated Liberal member for Indi, Sophie Mirabella, to the board of ASC Pty Ltd, a government-owned submarine and ship-building company. It has appointed former Democrats leader Natasha Stott Despoja as Ambassador for Women and Girls and Institute of Public Affairs policy director Tim Wilson to the Human Rights Commission. Upon assuming government, it terminated the appointed of former Labor Premier Steve Bracks as Consul-General in New York.
Media release from Treasurer Joe Hockey.
Foreign Investment Review Board appointment
Today I announce the appointment of Mr Patrick Secker as a part-time member of the Foreign Investment Review Board for a five-year period.
The Foreign Investment Review Board is a non-statutory body established in 1976 to advise the Treasurer. The Board’s functions are advisory only. Responsibility for foreign investment policy and for decision making on investment proposals rests with the Treasurer.
Mr Secker has extensive experience in agriculture and agribusiness over a number of decades. His appointment to the Foreign Investment Review Board fulfils a commitment by the Government to expand this area of the Board’s expertise.
Mr Secker was a primary producer, agricultural retailer and company director before entering politics. Further, as a member of the Australian Parliament, he represented the rural South Australian electorate of Barker.
As a fourth-generation farmer and long-serving member of the South Australian Farmers Federation, Mr Secker has maintained a close interest in agricultural sector developments and issues. During his time in Parliament Mr Secker served on a number of committees including the Primary Industries and Regional Services Committee, and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Committee.
Mr Secker will become the sixth member of the Foreign Investment Review Board, joining Mr Brian Wilson as Chairman, Mr Hamish Douglass, Ms Anna Buduls, Mr Michael D’Ascenzo AO as members and Mr Jonathan Rollings as Executive Member. I congratulate Mr Secker on his appointment.