One of Australia's most experienced economists, financial experts and company directors, Dr John Hewson AM, has joined the North Queensland Bio-Energy Corporation Limited (NQBE) Board of Directors.

A former high profile politician, Dr Hewson was Shadow Finance Minister, Shadow Treasurer, and Leader of the Liberal Party and Leader of the Opposition from 1990 to 1994.

In his earlier career, Dr Hewson's appointments included economist positions with the International Monetary Fund, the Treasury, and the Reserve Bank of Australia; Professorships at UNSW, Macquarie and currently at the ANU; as a Founding Executive Director of Macquarie Bank, a Trustee of the IBM Superannuation Fund, and as Advisor to a host of international banks, including Sumitomo, Midland, OCBC, Baring Securities, and Bank of America. He also served as Advisor/Chief of Staff to two successive Treasurers and the Prime Minister in the Fraser Government.

Since leaving politics in 1995, Dr Hewson has forged a very successful career in investment banking and at the elite levels of business. Most notably, Dr Hewson was Chairman of ABN Amro Australia, and served on its Advisory Board for 11 years, and as a Director of many public and private companies in various industries, including health and aged care, manufacturing, printing, gold mining and mining engineering, oil and gas exploration, power, finance, financial planning, insurance broking, property, and funds management, and has developed a couple of businesses in China.

He has a keen, active interest in environmental issues and has had direct involvement in ventures including a waste recycling and methane extraction facility in Sydney, energy efficient light bulbs, bio-diesel, and green data centres. He also chaired the National Business Leaders Forum on Sustainable Development for six years.

In 2001 Dr Hewson was awarded a Member in the Order of Australia for service to business and economics, the Australian Parliament and politics, and the community.

Dr Hewson said he was delighted to be invited to join the NQBE Board.

"This is an exciting project of the future that will become increasingly attractive and successful as the world adjusts to the challenge of climate change, and as alternative sources of energy and fuel become more essential," he said

"I am very impressed with the level of detailed work done to develop and fund the NQBE project to date."

He noted that he had worked to develop many projects over the last 15 years in areas such as renewables, energy efficiency and waste management, and believes that this experience

would allow him to make a significant and valuable contribution to the successful completion of the NQBE project.

NQBE Chairman, Robert Carey, said Dr Hewson would bring a wealth of financial and indusrty experience and knowledge to the company and he was delighted that Dr Hewson accepted the offer to join the NQBE Board.

"It is extremely difficult to attract high profile, knowledgeable and widely experienced persons, such as Dr Hewson, to new startup green field companies and Dr Hewson's acceptance to the NQBE Board delivers a new and different dimension and will most certainly lift the profile of NQBE in Australian business and financial circles.

"Dr Hewson's passion for renewable energy, his concern about fuel security for Australia, his connections within the banking and finance industry and his contact on both sides of politics can only be extremely positive for NQBE.

"As NQBE strives to complete the final equity for the project, Dr Hewson's advice and guidance will be invaluable," Mr Carey said.

Robert M Carey