It was sad news that Joe Baker died 16 January 2018. Among many things Joe was the first ACT Commissioner for the Environment (1993-2004).
It has been a privilege of life to meet and know Joe and it is an honour that he has been attending meetings at the Conservation Council right to the end. His favourite clause of legislation (Commissioner for the Environment), which he was wont to quote, shows some of his interconnected interests and broad thinking:
an assessment of the condition of the environment, including an assessment of any of the following matters that the commissioner considers necessary:
(i) the components of the earth, including soil, the atmosphere and water;
(ii) any organic or inorganic matter and any living organism;
(iii) human made or modified structures and areas;
(iv) ecosystems and their constituent parts, including people
(v) the qualities and characteristics of places and areas that
contribute to their biological diversity and ecological integrity, scientific value and amenity;
(vi) the interactions and interdependencies within and between the things mentioned in subparagraphs (i) to (v);
(vii) the social, aesthetic, cultural and economic conditions that affect, or are affected by, the things mentioned in
subparagraphs (i) to (v);
Thank you Joe for your great contribution.
A funeral service was held Wednesday 24 January 2018 at 1:30pm, Norwood Park Crematorium, Mitchell, ACT. It was a lovely celebration with words from his wife Val and their four children and nine grandchildren.
Joe is pictured below fifth from left at a presentation from the current ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment (Kate Auty, seated next to Joe) at the Biodiversity Working Group meeting, November 2017.