Dr Owen Donald has been appointed as the new Chief Commissioner of the Victorian Building Authority by Minister for Planning Richard Wynne.

Owen, who has a doctorate in urban research, has held board and directorial positions across state and federal jurisdictions in housing, health, research and social services. Over a period of 30 years, he has developed and delivered policy across the housing and health sectors, contributing to his significant experience in governance, change management and leadership.

He has previously chaired the Project Steering Committee for Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre, the National Housing Supply Council and Barwon Health.

A Fellow of the Australian Institute of Public Administration, Owen will take over from the VBA’s interim chief, Brian Welsh in February 2017.

Minister Wynne thanked Welsh and previous Chief Commissioner Bill Kusznirczuk for their work with the regulator.

The VBA is responsible for registering, licensing and disciplining Victoria’s builders and plumbing practitioners, working with consumers and industry to monitor and oversee the building permit system. Under Mr Kusznirczuk’s stewardship, the VBA has worked to adopt recommendations from Auditor-General’s reports from 2011 and 2015, which had exposed flaws and much-needed changes to the former regime.

Wynne says he is confident Owen’s policy and governance experience puts him in the perfect position to head up the VBA.