Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is the chief decision-making body of AELERT and is reflective of a representative governance model. The Australian Government, New Zealand Central Government and all Australian States and Territories nominate a Jurisdictional Representative to sit on the Steering Committee.

The AELERT Steering Committee meets formally no less than three times a year to discuss the strategic direction of AELERT, Cluster projects, AELERT member needs and issues facing the environmental regulatory community.

Meeting Communiques

Read about the discussions at the most recent Steering Committee meetings below:

Committee Members

The AELERT Steering Committee members are:

Mark Gifford cropped BWChair

Mark Gifford, NSW Environment Protection Authority 

Mark Gifford, Chair, is the Chief Environmental Regulator at the NSW Environment Protection Authority, with more than 25 years’ experience in management and leadership positions. Appointed in September 2017 he will host the upcoming 2018 AELERT Conference in Sydney, on behalf of the NSW EPA.

He has significant experience in government, working in the areas of policing, corruption prevention, regulation and environment protection and conservation and has private sector experience in technical/engineering services and manufacturing.

He is responsible for leading the day to day regulatory operations of the EPA and ensuring efficient delivery of diverse and complex environmental services.   Mark heads the Regulatory Services Division which includes the EPA’s three Regional Branches (North, Metro and South) that deliver operational environment protection services in the areas of air, water, noise, odour, forestry, incident response, development assessment and strategic land-use planning; the Reform and Compliance Branch - responsible for leading the development and delivery of the air, water, noise and operational policy, the EPA’s reform agenda, compliance assurance and environmental audit programs and regulatory administration and systems and implementation of the EPA’s responsibilities under the NSW Gas Plan.  

He has a Bachelor of Business (Public Administration) and has been awarded the Public Service Medal for outstanding public service to environmental protection in NSW.


Monica 2 bwVice-Chair

Monica Collins,  Department of the Environment and Energy 

Monica Collins joined the Commonwealth Department of Environment and Energy as Head of the Compliance and Enforcement Branch. Monica most recently worked with the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage, and has more than 20 years’ experience working in the environment sector. 

Monica has worked in environmental regulation, compliance and enforcement, community engagement, and environmental program delivery roles, including in the Murray-Darling Basin, threatened species programs, kangaroo management, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Monica also brings experience in managing regulatory reform and change management.


Tony Circelli 2015 x 2 cropped BWDirector

Tony Circelli, Environment Protection Authority South Australia

Tony Circelli is Chief Executive of the Environment Protection Authority, the State of South Australia’s independent environment regulator.

Mr Circelli was the former Chair of AELERT from May 2014 to August 2017. Mr Circelli has significance knowledge and experience in regulatory science and building better regulatory practice into EPA policy, operations and organisational culture.  

He is also a member of the Governing Board of the EPA, Presiding Member of the SA Radiation Protection Committee, and member of the national Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE) Beyond 2020 Committee. Mr Circelli has an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Adelaide and a Master of Business Administration from Deakin University. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Fellow of the South Australian Governor’s Leadership Foundation


Chris Webb cropped BWDirector

Chris Webb, Environment Protection Authority Victoria

Chris Webb is the Director of Regulatory Practice and Strategy for EPA Victoria.  The directorate is responsible for the operational delivery of EPA’s strategy, support, programs and partnership activities – working with industry, government and the community to get the right outcomes. 

With a strong practical industry grounding, and experience across regulators, Chris has the firm belief that one of the key roles of a modern regulator is to maintain an active dialogue with industry that builds trust and understanding, and supports the best outcomes for business and the environment.

As a member of the EPA's Executive Management Team, Chris has worked to bring to life the vision of becoming a modern risk-based regulator, delivering clean air, safe land, healthy water and minimal disturbances from noise and odour for all Victorians.  Chris’ background has included risk, safety and environmental management in the oil industry and major events such as the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix.  He joined EPA in 2010 from WorkSafe Victoria where he led the regulation of the Utilities and Construction industries


Commonwealth Jurisdictional Representative 

Paul Simonsson, Department of Environment


Daniel Walters cropped BWAustralian Capital Territory Jurisdictional Representative 

Daniel Walters, Environment and Planning Directorate

Daniel Walters has had an extensive career in environment management, having held the statutory positions in the ACT Environment Protection Authority, Clinical Waste Controller and Delegate of Lakes. 

Daniel now continues as Senior Manager of Environment Protection Policy in the ACT Environment and Planning Directorate, where he is responsible for setting the strategic policy direction for environment protection in the ACT. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience gained over almost 30 years working in the ACT Government across a diverse range of role and responsibilities, with particular expertise in land use planning and development, project management and regulation of contaminated sites, environmental policy, regulation and licensing, and water resource.

In his new role, he is keen to support the Government strategic priorities and community and industry initiatives to facilitate a balanced and sustainable future for Canberra that is vibrant and innovative in its approach to environmental management.  Having lived in Victoria and the Northern Territory and educated in Canberra he brings a broad understanding of the need for a collaborative approach nationally to achieve a balanced and consistent approach to protection of our environment.  Mr Walters holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Environment Design and has completed studies in a variety of disciplines including environmental noise, land contamination, air quality monitoring, incident management and public service leadership.

He commenced his ACT Government career in 1989 in dealing with asbestos abatement and then moved into the ACT Planning Authority which provided a strong understanding of the need to collaborate and incorporate policies across government to address environmental issues at the earliest stages through integration of land use planning and environmental management. In project managing and latter regulating and licensing environmental activities he gained an appreciation of the significant role of health and land management authorities and need for integration in environmental management particularly in dealing with contamination, waste management and air and water quality. He has had extensive experience in a diverse range of roles within government including the Murray Darling Basin, Asbestos Task Force, catchment management, as manager and director or environment regulation and licensing, contaminated sites officer, laboratory manager for asbestos monitoring, fisheries regulation and management and water resources.

In his personal life, he is a keen builder, mechanic, kayaker and traveller. He has shared his love of the outdoors and travels with his wife and three children and Facebook friends (hence photo).  Now an empty nester, with the children having now moved on to pursue their own adventurous careers in similar diverse fields, he will be hopefully enjoying more travel, after he finishes his list of things to do from the wife.

 New South Wales Jurisdictional Representative

Giselle Howard, NSW Environmental Protection Authority

Giselle Howard imageGiselle Howard has worked in natural resource and environmental areas for 25 years. Prior to joining the EPA in 2003 she held middle and senior management positions in other NSW Government agencies.

At the EPA, Ms Howard has led regional teams delivering operational work for air, water, noise and chemical pollution, threatened species, Aboriginal cultural heritage, community engagement, catchment management, environmental education and groundwater and surface water environmental management.

Ms Howard’s work has been largely focused in metropolitan areas, working extensively with industry groups and community organisations to find sound environmental solutions among strongly competing demands.

Ms Howard holds a Bachelor of Science in Ecology with first class honours from the University of NSW.



Asset 1New Zealand Jurisdictional Representative 

Dr Fiona Thomson-Carter, Environmental Protection Agency NZ

Dr Fiona Thomson-Carter has a strong track record in managing operational delivery of critical science to the public and private sectors in the UK, EU and New Zealand, with extensive experience in microbiology of infectious disease, their diagnosis, outbreak investigation and associated research.

She is a former Programme Leader and General Manager at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) where she contributed to realisation of ESR’s vision for the National Centre for Biosecurity and Infectious Disease in external stakeholder management project management and organisational leadership.

Fiona has chaired or been a member of significant national and international committees including the Biosecurity Ministerial Advisory Committee and several EU steering groups.

She was joint winner of the Sir Ian Wood Group Award for Innovation. Dr Thomson-Carter joined the EPA on Monday, 29 August 2016.


Blank 4 by 3 squareNorthern Territory Jurisdictional Representative 

Peter Vasel, NT EPA

Peter Vasel, Director Pollution Control at the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA) has been the NT AELERT jurisdictional representative since late 2013.

Peter’s duties at the NT EPA include the compliance and enforcement of the NT Waste Management and Pollution Control Act and Water Act amongst others. His current area of responsibility includes the environmental regulation of all air, noise, water, waste, contaminated sites, pollution from ships (MARPOL), NPI issues. His work also entails the development of policy across all of these areas.

Peter also participates and represents the NT EPA on Commonwealth initiatives. Peter has an extensive background in compliance and enforcement and has worked as an environmental regulator in Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia and Queensland. He has also spent some time as a principal investigator with the former Office of Police Integrity of Victoria (now IBAC).  


 Glen Brown cropped BWQueensland Jurisdictional Representative 

Glen Brown, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection

Glen is a senior environmental regulator in Queensland, heading up the Regulatory Capability and Customer Service branch of the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. 

With extensive operational experience in regional areas, Glen has brought his knowledge of frontline environmental management to his current role, where he is responsible for developing strategies and supporting material to deliver the Queensland Government’s environmental regulation outcomes. As the Executive Director, Regulatory Capability and Customer Service, Glen has been a driving force behind the department’s Regulatory Strategy.  He has a keen interest in leveraging private sector skills to achieve good environmental outcomes that balance the need for responsible development.  Prior to joining the Queensland public sector, Glen worked in the Environmental Assessments Branch of the then Commonwealth Environmental Protection Agency.

Glen has a Bachelor of Applied Science degree, majoring in Water Science, and First Class Honours from the University of Canberra. His doctoral thesis in stream ecology was also undertaken at the University of Canberra, in association with the then Cooperative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology. He also has an MBA from the University of Southern Queensland.

South Australia Jurisdictional Representative 

Peter Dolan, Environment Protection Authority South Australia

To be updated

To be updated


Cindy OngTasmania Jurisdictional Representative 

Cindy Ong, Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment

Cindy joined the Environment Protection Authority  (EPA Tasmania) in August 2015.  She manages its northern operations branch and is part of the division’s executive team.

Cindy came into  the Tasmanian State Service in 1999 and before commencing with EPA Tasmania, worked in weed management and biosecurity where she specialised in risk assessment and policy development.

She also spent two years as an advisor to the minister responsible for agriculture and biosecurity and animal welfare.

Cindy moved to Tasmania from Victoria in the 1980s seeking rain, mist, frost and snow, got all those things and will not live anywhere else. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Science from the University of Tasmania with Honours in Biogeography, and a Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Management.


Richard Marks cropped BWVictoria Jurisdictional Representative 

Richard Marks, Environment Protection Authority Victoria

Richard is the Group Manager Investigations, Emergency and Regional Performance at the Environment Protection Authority Victoria.

In 13 years at EPA he has had a diverse career, taking in roles as a field officer, in sustainability, policy, and reform, and most recently as the Metropolitan Regional Manager. As Group Manager, he is the focal point for the delivery of the EPA's reform of regulatory practice and the delivery of specialist support to the directorate in regulatory practice, investigations and specialist expertise.


Western Australia Jurisdictional Representative 

Germaine Healy, Department of Environment Regulation