The Emerald Tourist Railway Board is pleased to announce Peter Abbott as incoming CEO Puffing Billy.

On behalf of the Board, Chairman, Tim North QC has today confirmed the appointment. He acknowledged the significant contribution by the current CEO, Steve O’Brien and thanked him for his stewardship over the past two years. Steve O’Brien is due to complete his term on 29 January 2021.

“Puffing Billy is an iconic heritage rail attraction and one of Australia’s most recognised and loved visitor experiences. As Victoria rebounds from the impacts of COVID-19, the role Puffing Billy plays in the local community of the Dandenong Ranges could not be of greater importance,” says Mr. North.

“Peter will bring rail, museum, and volunteer experience as well as deep tourism knowledge to this role, having previously been the Chief Executive Officer of Bendigo Heritage Attractions and Manager of the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, Warrnambool. He will bring an informed and fresh perspective for our next chapter.”

Peter is currently the General Manager of SeaLink South Australia where he directly managed the effects of the recent bushfires. He was formerly a Board member of Australian Museums and Galleries Association (Victoria) and member of VicTrack’s Tourist Heritage Rail Strategy Development Group.

“I’m looking forward to working with the Board and team, volunteers and the local community, as well as launching the new Lakeside Visitor Centre early next year”, says Mr. Abbott.

Peter grew up in Yarra Junction where his father still lives, and he is looking forward to returning to the region and commencing in the role on 1 February 2021.

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