Tony Wright is a partner in a leading public policy, strategy and technology advisory firm operating in the Australian environment and infrastructure sectors.
He is an experienced CEO, board chair, and consultant, with recognised achievements in business and state owned corporations. His career theme is the integration of environment, technology, business, and public policy.
- Independent Public Review – Landfill capacity and Demand (2009/10).
- Independent Public Review – Orica HCB Waste Destruction (2004, 2006).
- Alternative Waste Management Technologies and Practices Inquiry (2001).
- Independent Public Assessment – Landfill Capacity and Demand (2001).
- Independent Public Review – Stakeholder Engagement for Sydney Desalination Plant (2006).
- Independent Review – Menindee Lakes Water Management (2006).
- Independent Review and Report – Energy Demand Management and Planning (2009).
- Commission of Inquiry – Expansion of Port Botany Container Terminal (2005).
Tony has had a lead role in reform of Australian waste management and resource recovery policy over the last 12 years. He initially chaired the definitive Alternative Waste Management Technologies and Practices Inquiry for the NSW Government, and advised the Government on subsequent ground-breaking waste legislation. He has conducted further waste related inquiries, the most recent being published in April 2010.
Much of the advisory and consulting work undertaken by Wright Corporate Strategy in recent years has focussed on advising Commonwealth, State and Local Governments across Australia on strategy, policy and technology for sustainable waste management and resource recovery.
Tony chaired the NSW Reference Panel for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which advised the Government on product stewardship approaches in which producers take responsibility for recovery and recycling of nominated wastes.
Tony was recently a member of the NSW Government Expert Reference Group advising the EPA on preparation of a new Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2013-2021. He was previously involved in a similar role with the Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Strategy 2007-2014.
Having worked at CEO level at Sydney Water, Hunter Water, and Australian Water Technologies in the 1980s and 1990s, Tony chaired the NSW State Water Corporation from 2004 to 2012. He guided rapid reform of the corporation to improve service performance, financial management and governance during a period of extreme drought and the emergence of water management as a controversial political issue.
He played a lead role in water reform in Western NSW as Chairman of the Darling River Water Saving Project Steering Committee. This high-profile $400 million State/Commonwealth project is a key Murray Darling priority project.
As Deputy Chairman of the NSW EPA Board (representing industry) Tony helped shape the EPA approach to environmental protection and regulation from 1997 to 2012. His particular focus was on waste management, water management, and environmental reporting. He was Chair of the Board subcommittees for Waste Management and State of the Environment Reporting and he championed improvement in these areas over many years.
Tony was Chairman of the State of the Environment Advisory Council of NSW, with responsibility for scrutinising the process, content, and direction of State of the Environment Reports. His tenure covered the reports published in 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2009.
Tony has been active over 20 years in the development of Australia’s environment management industry. He helped form the first national environment management industry association and think tank, Sustainable Business Australia, which was sponsored by the Commonwealth Government. He was a non-executive Director of SBA for nine years and Chairman for two years, before being awarded life membership of the association's National Advisory Council.
He has served as independent Chairman of a successful start-up environmental technology firm, BioTrack Australia Pty Ltd. BioTrack was formed to commercialise Macquarie University research on biodiversity monitoring.
He was a founding non-executive Director of the CRC for Waste Management and Pollution Control Limited, which gained a strong reputation for pioneering innovative waste and water management approaches.
He also served on the Sustainability Advisory Council of NSW.
As Deputy Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Sydney Water (1984-1993), Tony led the reform of core business operations and infrastructure development. He opened the corporation to competition in capital and operating programs. He built customer-service focus into the business, played a leading role in developing the $6bn Clean Waterways Environment Program, and championed development of Sydney’s (BOO) water treatment infrastructure.
Tony founded and was inaugural Managing Director (1991-1993) of Australian Water Technologies Pty Ltd (AWT) the commercial trading arm of Sydney Water. AWT quickly improved financial performance of Sydney Water services and became a respected water services provider, operating internationally.
His previous experience covers the Hunter Water (as Managing Director), State Rail Authority of NSW (running the Railway Workshops), the Federal Department of Housing and Construction, the Bureau of Transport Economics, British Motor Corporation and the Australian Wool Board.
Tony Wright's formal education includes a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of New South Wales, and a Diploma in Technology from the (then) NSW Institute of Technology.
He is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has completed the AICD Company Directors Course (with Order of Merit) GAICD.