Peter Costello

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ACCC Chairman



I wish to acknowledge the great contribution to public service made by Professor Allan Fels AO, following his announcement that he intends to retire as Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in June 2003.

Professor Fels is the first and only Chairman of the ACCC to date. He has given the Commission outstanding leadership. He has shown a very strong dedication to public service.

Professor Fels was appointed Chairman of the ACCC upon its creation in November 1995, having previously been Chairman of both of its predecessor organisations - the Trade Practices Commission (TPC) and the Prices Surveillance Authority (PSA). He was appointed to the PSA on a part-time basis as a member in 1984 and as its Chairman in 1989. In 1991, he was appointed full-time Chairman of the TPC, while retaining his PSA post.

Professor Fels was most recently appointed ACCC Chairman from 6 November 2000 for a term until 30 June 2004.

In addition to the ACCC's well-established core functions of enforcing the competitive conduct rules and consumer laws in the Trade Practices Act, the ACCC since 1995 has been tasked with becoming the regulator of several important infrastructure industries. The ACCC also played a pivotal role during the introduction and implementation of the GST and other New Tax System measures through its price monitoring work.

Under the leadership of Professor Fels, the ACCC has become a widely respected agency and has grown in size as the scope of its work has increased. It has achieved this in part through his personal effort in giving prominence to competition policy and law.

The ACCC and Professor Fels have also become significant players internationally. The ACCC has developed links with regulators in many countries and is providing development assistance to many other countries - predominantly in the OECD and APEC fora. Professor Fels is a Co-Chairman of the OECD's Joint Group on Trade and Competition as well as being a member of the OECD's Committee bureau.

In June 2001, Professor Fels was made an Officer in the Order of Australia for 'service to Australian competition policy through the development and regulation of trade practices and consumer protection, and to public education in relation to consumer law and its implications for business and commerce'.

I pay tribute to Professor Fels for his tireless efforts and for his energy and commitment. The Government wishes him every success in his new endeavours and extends its best wishes to his family.

19 November 2002

CONTACT: Niki Savva
02 6277 7340

19 Nov 2002

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