Peter Costello

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Appointment of chair of the Productivity Commission

NO. 050


Appointment of chair of the Productivity Commission

I am pleased to announce that the Government has appointed Mr Gary Banks as the inaugural Chair of the Productivity Commission.

On 30 April 1998 I announced the formation of the Productivity Commission and the appointment of seven Commissioners including Mr Banks as Acting Chairman, and foreshadowed an early announcement of the appointment of the Chair of the Commission.

The appointment of Mr Banks will bring substantial experience to the position. He has economics qualifications from Monash University and the Australian National University. He has previously worked as a Senior Economist in the GATT Secretariat in Geneva; Director (Economic) in the Office of National Assessments in Canberra; Visiting Fellow at the Trade Policy Research Centre, London; and Projects Manager for the Centre for International Economics in Canberra.

Since joining the Industry Commission in 1990 as a full-time Commissioner, Mr Banks was appointed Executive Commissioner in 1993, and Acting Chairman in February 1998. In that time, he has presided on a range of major public inquiries, including reports on research and development, regional adjustment, offshore investment and private health insurance. Mr Banks was also a member of the Commonwealth’s Review of Higher Education Financing and Policy.


The Productivity Commission is the Government’s principal advisory body on microeconomic reform, and will act as a catalyst for continuing reform in the Australian economy, with particular emphasis on productivity improvements in both the public and private sectors.

The Commission formally came into being on 16 April 1998 following Royal Assent to the Productivity Commission Act 1998. It had previously operated on an administrative basis after a merger in late 1996 of the Industry Commission, the Economic Planning Advisory Commission and the Bureau of Industry Economics.

21 May 1998

Contact Officer:
Alistair Davey
(02) 6277 7340

21 May 1998

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