Our Executive Team

The Executive Management Team oversees policy implementations, day-to-day management of our people, and the delivery of services to our customers across the different divisions.

Jim Bentley

Jim Bentley | Managing Director


Dr Jim Bentley was appointed as Managing Director on 27 July 2016.

Jim has more than 20 years' experience in the infrastructure sector, much of it in water and wastewater working with Thames Water in the UK, Turkey and Middle East, Metrowater in Auckland, and as Director of the Centre for Infrastructure Research at the University of Auckland.  

As Hunter Water's Managing Director, Jim is a member of both Hunter Water's Board of Directors and Executive Management Team. His key responsibilities include:

  • Accountability for operational safety 
  • Providing leadership to employees and the executive
  • Facilitating the development and delivering Hunter Water's strategic vision and direction
  • Overseeing operating activities, capital programs and projects
  • Ensuring compliance with regulatory frameworks 
  • Managing Hunter Water's relationships with its stakeholders. These include regulators (IPART and NSW EPA), state and federal governments, members of parliament, community and special interest groups, industry bodies and suppliers.

Darren Cleary | Chief Investment Officer


As Executive Manager, Investment and Innovation, Darren oversees:

  • Science and Innovation
  • Infrastructure and Planning
  • Asset Management
  • Infrastructure Delivery
  • Water Resilience
  • Sustainable Wastewater
Laura Hails

Laura Hails | General Counsel & Company Secretary 

BFin, LLB (Hons)

Laura Hails was appointed as General Counsel in February 2016 and Company Secretary in January 2019.  Laura has extensive experience in private practice and in-house roles within the Hunter, specialising in the construction, transport and infrastructure sectors.

Laura has a Bachelor of Finance and Bachelor of Laws/Diploma of Legal Practice (Class I Honours) from the University of Newcastle and a Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance from the Governance Institute. 

As General Counsel and Company Secretary, Laura oversees the Business Service and Assurance Division comprising:

  • Legal
  • Governance
  • Audit and Assurance
  • Business Services
  • Environment
Richard Harris

Richard Harris | Chief Information and Technology Officer


Richard has over 20 years' experience in information and communication technology and joined Hunter Water in 2014. Prior to joining Richard held a number of senior management and executive roles with national and international organisations in software development, banking and finance, Government, mining, automotive and utilities.
As Chief Information and Technology Officer, Richard oversees:

  • Digital Utility Transformation
  • Strategy
  • Planning
  • Governance
  • Enterprise Architecture
  • Project Services
  • Business Systems
  • Information Security
  • Operations
Jennifer Hays

Jennifer Hayes | Chief Financial Officer

BBus (Accounting), MBA, CPA, GAICD

Jennifer was appointed as Chief Financial Officer on 25 July 2018. Jennifer has over 20 years' experience in Executive and Non-executive positions in a diverse range of sectors including fast moving consumer goods, water utilities, primary health, regional development and education, in Australia, New Zealand and Europe. Jennifer has extensive skills and experience in financial leadership, corporate governance and risk management, formerly holding positions with Mars Incorporated as Finance Director Central Europe and Group Financial Controller, Australia / New Zealand. Jennifer was also Executive Manager Corporate Services, North East Water (Victoria) and Company Secretary. Jennifer also serves as a member of University Council, Charles Sturt University; Director of Hunter Primary Care; Director of Regional Development Australia (Hunter); and Chair of Cessnock City Council Audit Committee.

As Chief Financial Officer, Jennifer oversees;

  • Regulatory Policy
  • Financial Control and Compliance
  • Corporate Accounting and Analysis
  • Treasury
  • Business Performance Reporting
Victor Prasad

Victor Prasad | Executive Manager Customer Strategy and Retail

BE (Civil), Dip PM

Victor commenced with Hunter Water in 2007 and has more than 17 years' experience working in the water and energy sector. Prior to his appointment to this role, Victor worked in a number of different teams with Hunter Water including Group Manager Treatment Operations and Group Manager Technical Services.

Before joining Hunter Water, Victor worked in a variety of roles in Australia and overseas overseeing project delivery, program management, service delivery and community and stakeholder relations.

Victor has a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) from the University of Canterbury (NZ) and a Post Grad Diploma in Project Management from Deakin University.

As Executive Manager Customer Strategy and Retail, Victor oversees:

  • Customer Strategy
  • Community Experience
  • Community Engagement
  • Retail Services
  • Development Services
  • Water Efficiency
  • Revenue Services
Clint Thomson

Clint Thomson | Executive Manager Service Delivery for Customers

BEng(Hons1) GradDipMEM DipBus DipPM

With a foundation of trade, engineering, and frontline leadership roles, Clint has led a number of technical and customer facing service delivery teams. He is currently the Executive Manager Service Delivery for Customers at Hunter Water, where he previously held roles including Group Manager System Operations and Manager Field Maintenance. 

Prior to joining Hunter Water in 2010, Clint took on a 13 year defence career including three 'active service' tours of duty. His defence roles included operational marine engineering leadership roles at sea in the Royal Australian Navy, and sustainment activities ashore for the Defence Materiel Organisation, including maintenance and upgrade projects.

As Executive Manager Service Delivery for Customers, Clint oversees:

  • Intelligent Networks
  • Capability Engineering
  • Environmental Operations
  • Water Operations
  • Maintenance Delivery