Jason Waters will become the new CEO of Perth Airport after one year as chief executive of the embattled Perth Mint.
Waters, who does not have an aviation background, will be tasked with taming a dispute with Qantas over moving terminals as well as overseeing a new runway.
In his current role, he’s attempted to steer Perth Mint through an emerging scandal, with an ABC Four Corners investigation in March alleging it had diluted gold bullion beyond the acceptable standard of one of its largest customers and failed to comply with anti-money-laundering regulations.
These incidents date back to before he commenced in the role.
In a statement responding to the ABC report, the Mint’s owner Gold Corporation – which is currently under Austrac audit – acknowledged “shortcomings” in its regulatory compliance.
“The appointment of chief executive officer Jason Waters just under a year ago was the latest milestone in a significant refresh of the leadership team at The Perth Mint. This has included new heads of the refinery, treasury and risk and compliance areas,” the statement read.
“Under Mr Waters’ leadership, The Perth Mint is prioritising activities to progress its fully funded AML/CTF remediation program through the engagement of additional staff for Know Your Customer (KYC) checks as well as historical customer data remediation, enhanced KYC processes for new clients and an improved technology solution to support customer relationship management.”
Waters will replace Perth Airport’s acting CEO, chief commercial officer Kate Holsgrove, who has been in the temporary role since the departure of Kevin Brown in December last year.
Prior to his role at Perth Mint, which he began in April last year, Waters was CEO at power company Synergy, which took over Verve Energy in 2014.
Perth Airport Chair Rob Cole has described Waters as “a respected leader in Western Australia who is known for his strategic focus and his ability to deliver outcomes in highly challenging business environments”.
“He is known for working calmly and methodically through the most complex situations while never losing sight of the outcomes he sets for his organisation,” said Cole.
“It’s great that we’ve found such a highly-credentialled leader who was born and raised in Western Australia and who is passionate about our state and our people. He is a values-driven leader with a strong commitment to people and culture and an ability to bring people together to deliver outcomes.”
Waters will oversee Perth Airport’s ongoing projects, including the new runways and the consolidation of all flights into its Airport Central precinct.
In April, Australian Aviation reported how the WA government called on Qantas to stop “dawdling” over plans to relocate its international operations to Perth Airport’s Terminal 1.
The state’s Tourism Minister, Roger Cook, said Qantas’s slow pace in moving its international flights from the separated Terminals 3 and 4 to the consolidated Terminal 1 — from which all other international services operate — is keeping Perth Airport from being the “western gateway to Australia”.
The airline, in response, challenged the airport to invest more in its international operation.