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Top 100 : 2012
Greg Combet, 54 Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, Minister for Industry and Innovation, Member for Charlton, Federal government, Canberra Mining engineer, University of NSW GREG COMBET, the former trade union leader and mining engineer, was elevated to Cabinet following the 2010 federal election, serving as the minister for climate change and energy efficiency. Last December, the Prime Minister added the additional portfolio of industry and innovation to his ministerial responsibilities, which Combet said highlights the connectivity between embracing new opportunities while boost- ing productivity and competitiveness. "From the mining industry to my role as a cabinet minister in the federal parlia- ment, engineering skills have informed my decision-making. An engineer must test all assumptions and take nothing for granted, [and] look for practical outcomes based on evidence, experience and adherence to principles. When approaching complex problems and policy issues, engineering encourages a methodical and disciplined approach, and the need to keep a level head." As an advocate for carbon pricing, Com- bet said the government s incoming Clean Energy policy is an essential economic reform in the long-term interest of Australia. "It is a major economic, as well as envi- ronmental, reform." Campbell Newman, 48 Premier of Queensland, Member for Ashgrove, Brisbane Civil engineer, University of NSW IN MARCH, Campbell Newman led Queensland s Liberal National Party (LNP) to the biggest landslide victory in Queensland s history. The LNP won 78 seats against only eight for Labor, taking 44 seats on a swing of 14.5%. A civil engineer by profession, Newman had a 13-year career as an Australian Army engineer, retiring at the end of 1993 with the rank of Major. "Engineering instilled in me an ana- lytical approach to problem solving and a logical way of dealing with issues; skills I continue to use daily. "My engineering background has given me a great feel for numbers. When people say it will cost a certain amount or take a set time, I get a gut feeling about whether they re right or whether I should be asking tough questions." Newman said he was excited to have the ability to bring about real change in his new role as Premier of Queensland. He has previously worked as a manage- ment consultant and as an executive in the grain industry dealing with bulk commod- ity infrastructure. Prior to entering state politics Newman served as Lord Mayor of Brisbane for seven years. Bill Marmion, 58 Minister for Environment and Water, Western Australia government, Perth Member for Nedlands Civil engineer, University of Western Australia AS A young civil engineer with Main Roads WA Bill Marmion gained considerable skills and knowledge that have helped "enormously" in his role as state minister for environment and water. "Apart from my regional postings that gave me geographic knowledge of our expansive state, project management skills translate to almost all government activities. For example, needs analysis, options analy- sis, conceptual development, procurement options, design development, construction, commissioning and post project review are relevant to many of my considerations." However, Marmion believes the inter- personal and communication skills are probably the most important personal at- tributes he developed as a young engineer. These have been notable in negotiating land resumptions off owners, and later through being president of the WA Division of Engineers Australia. In thepastyear as WA ministerfor water, Marmion is proud that he approved Stage 2 of the Southern Sea Water Desalination Plant at a cost of $450 million, which will secure Perth s water supply for many years regardless of climate. 60 ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA | JUNE 2012 COVER STORY -- TOP 100 Politics Bill Marmion Campbell Newman Greg Combet