FORMER federal and state Liberal MP Lou Lieberman has replaced Ulf Ericson as chairman of Albury Wodonga Health.
Mr Lieberman is one of three new appointees to the board of the cross-border health organisation, which has been led by Mr Ericson since its creation in 2009.
The others are Australian Industry Group regional manager Tim Farrah and Wodonga doctor John Moran.
They have replaced Dr Peter Vine, Graeme Welsh and Mr Ericson.
Victorian Health Minister David Davis said the board changes had already taken effect and played down suggestions the appointment of Mr Lieberman was politically motivated.
“Lou Lieberman is a respected member of the community who will make a fine contribution to Albury Wodonga Health,” Mr Davis said.
“In coming days, I will pay tribute to Ulf Ericson, who was the inaugural chairman of Albury Wodonga Health.
“He successfully steered the merger of the former Albury and Wodonga health services into one respected entity.
“Board appointments are drawn from members of the community, and this sometimes involves people who are candidates for public office, or have previously held public office, from all sides of politics.”
Mr Davis pointed out the new chairman of Western Health was former Labor state minister Bronwyn Pike, who replaced Ralph Willis, a former Labor federal minister.
Mr Lieberman retired from politics as the member for Indi in 2001.
“I have been interested in health for many years,” he said.
“I put my name forward and am honoured to be appointed.
“I have been appointed on merit and look forward to the challenge.
“It has been going for five years and I am very proud of their achievements.”
He paid tribute to his predecessor, Mr Ericson, and the other outgoing directors, Mr Welsh and Dr Vine.
“Their work has been absolutely incredible,” he said.
The other directors are Nicola Melville, Julia Coyle, Allison Jenvey, Phil Williams and Matt Burke.
Former Albury Council director Judy Charlton was also a director until taking up the role of Narrandera Council general manager.
Former NSW Labor candidate Darren Cameron said the Liberal Party had a heavy representation on the board.