Inquiry Panel


Dr Tom Hatton

Chair of the Panel, Dr Tom HattonDr Hatton has a Bachelor of Science (summa cum laude), Master of Science in Natural Resources from Humboldt State University, and a doctorate from the College of Natural Resources at Utah State University.

Following post-doctoral studies in mathematics at the University of New South Wales he joined the CSIRO as an environmental scientist, working on the many water-related challenges facing Australia. Over a 25-year career at the CSIRO, he directed the Water for a Healthy Country Flagship as well as the Wealth from Oceans Flagship, Australia’s largest water and marine research portfolios, delivering research directly underpinning the efficient and responsible development of Australia’s natural resources while ensuring the conservation of the environmental and social values. In 2014, Tom retired as CSIRO Group Executive for Energy, responsible for national facilities and capabilities in renewable and non-renewable energy, and mining research and development.

In 1999, Tom was awarded the inaugural WE Wood Award for scientific excellence in the field of salinity research, and the Utah State University Alumni Professional Achievement Award. In 2008, Tom received the CSIRO Chairman’s Medal and the Australian Public Service Medal for his contributions to the management of Australia’s water resources.

Dr Hatton chaired the Western Australian Marine Parks and Reserves Authority (2012-2015) and chaired the 2011 Australian State of the Environment Committee. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Western Australia and serves on their Oceans Institute Advisory Board, as well as the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research Board. He serves on the Board of the Western Australia Parks Foundation and is the Chairman of the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority.

In 2017, he was made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.

Panel Members

Philip Commander

Philip Commander Philip Commander retired as Principal Hydrogeologist with the Department of Water after 38 years in the Public Service, leading groundwater investigations throughout the state, advising on groundwater management and protection, and assessing development proposals for their impact on groundwater.
Philip completed his Master of Science on the hydrogeology of the Eneabba area and has worked extensively on the hydrogeology of the Perth Basin. He has served on the National Water Commission’s Groundwater Advisory Committee and the Department of Water’s Science Review Panel.
He is a past President of the Australian Chapter of the International Association of Hydrogeologists, and has been Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of WA, and Adjunct Senior Lecturer at Curtin University. He is currently an independent hydrogeological consultant.

Dr Ben Clennell

Ben ClennellBen Clennell is a scientist and research leader in studies of rock physical properties, spanning petrophysics, geomechanics, structural geology and marine and petroleum geology including natural gas hydrate formation, with particular interests in pore structure characterisation, thermophysics in porous media, digital rocks, multiphase flow, electrical and nuclear magnetic properties, and integration of multi-scale, multi-physics data to understand dynamic subsurface processes.
Ben is the Australian representative on the Site Survey Panel of the International Ocean Discovery Program-SEP 2014-2017 and participates on the Governing Council and Science Committee member for ANZIC, Australian Scientific Ocean Drilling.
Ben is also a CSIRO Representative on Geological Survey of Western Australia Oil and Gas Technical Liaison Subcommittee since 2015.

Dr. Fiona Haslam Mckenzie

Dr. Fiona Haslam MckenzieDr. Fiona Haslam Mckenzie is a Professor at the Centre for Regional Development, University of Western Australia. Fiona was educated in Australia and the United States and has a rich academic background, including a Ph.D. in political geography, researching the socio-economic impacts of the restructuring of the Australian agricultural industry. Over the last two decades her focus has been the socio-economic impact of the Australian staples economies, particularly the Australian resources sectors. 
She has extensive experience in population and socio-economic change, housing, regional economic development and analysis of remote, regional and urban socio-economic indicators.  Fiona was appointed director of the Centre for Regional Development at the University of Western Australia in 2015.
She has served on several government and private sector boards, undertaken work for corporate and small business sectors and has published widely.  

Dr Jackie Wright

Jackie Wright Dr Jackie Wright is the Director of Environmental Risk Sciences Pty Ltd and has over 25 years’ experience in human health and ecological risk assessment and toxicology in Australia. She has completed her PhD in Environmental and Public Health at Flinders University and remains an adjunct lecturer at the university.
 She has a wide range of experience in the assessment of human health and ecological risk issues including mining activities, industrial activities, pesticides, air contamination issues, contaminated land, pollution incidents, clandestine drug laboratories and the conduct of detailed health impact assessments for major infrastructure projects.
She has been directly involved with the development of national guidelines for the assessment of contaminated sites and remediation of clandestine drug laboratories.