Peter Costello

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Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Appointments



The Treasurer, Mr Peter Costello, today announced ten appointments to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). These appointments boost the number of persons holding appointments on the Commission to twenty in total – more than ever before.

  • Mr Ross Jones and Mr John Martin have been appointed as full-time members for five-year terms.
  • Ms Teresa Handicott, Ms Rhonda Smith, Mr Don Watt, Mr Warwick Wilkinson AM and Professor Doug Williamson, QC have been appointed as part-time members for three-year terms.
  • Also appointed as part-time members, were Mr Graham Scott (until 1 April 2001), Mr Andrew Reeves (until 31 December 2001) and Mr Paul Baxter (until 30 June 1999).

Mr Jones, of Sydney, is a Senior Lecturer in Economics and the Director of Undergraduate Program at the School of Finance and Economics at the University of Technology, Sydney. He is an examiner for the NSW Board of Studies Higher School Certificate Economics and an adviser to the syllabus committee. He has also provided consultancy services to the ACCC and its predecessors for the past ten years. His five-year appointment will commence on 14 June 1999.

Mr Martin, of Canberra, is the Executive Director of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where he was responsible for making representations to Government on business regulation policies, particularly as they affected small and medium enterprises. Prior to that, he held positions in the Department of Industry, Technology and Commerce, the Department of the Treasury, the United Nations and the Papua New Guinea Administration. With his impressive business credentials, Mr Martin’s appointment fulfils the Government’s commitment to appointing a person with a small business background to the ACCC. His five-year appointment will commence on 7 June 1999.

Ms Handicott, of Brisbane, is a partner with the legal firm of Corrs Chambers Westgarth. She was first appointed as a part-time member of the Trade Practices Commission in 1994 and was subsequent appointed to the ACCC when it was formed in 1995. Since 1987, she has practiced exclusively in the areas of commercial and corporate law, particularly mergers and acquisitions, capital raisings and securities industry law.

Ms Smith, of Melbourne, is a consultant economist and a Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Melbourne. She recently completed a three year term as a full-time member of the ACCC. Since 1988, she has acted as an expert witness and advisor in major trade practices litigation, and has been a consultant for the Trade Practices Commission, the Prices Surveillance Authority and the private sector.

Mr Watt, of Perth, is a Barrister and Company Director and Chairman of the Legal Practices Board of Western Australia. He was initially appointed as part-time member of the ACCC in 1995.

Mr Wilkinson AM, of Sydney, was initially appointed as part-time member of the ACCC in 1995. He has held office as the President of the Australian Council of Professions and Chairman of the Pharmacy Board of NSW and of the Ambulance Services Board of NSW.

Professor Williamson, QC, of Melbourne, is the Director (Professorial Fellow) of the Centre for Energy and Resources Law at the University of Melbourne. He is a member (part-time) of the National Native Title Tribunal (fulfilling mediation and arbitration roles) and the Deputy Chairman (part-time) of the National Electricity Tribunal. Previously, he was a practicing barrister, specialising in commercial, trade practices and competition law and energy and resources law. Professor Williamson’s distinguished legal career with his mediation qualifications will greatly assist the Commission in resolving access arbitration disputes.

State and Territory Pricing Regulators

The three other part-time appointments have been made under an arrangement with the States and Territories which entitles each jurisdiction to nominate their principal independent pricing regulator for part-time appointment to the ACCC. These regulators come together on a regular basis as members of the ACCC’s Energy Division. Western Australia and the Northern Territory have not yet nominated persons under this arrangement. Their appointments to the ACCC are set to expire on the same date as their State or Territory office expires.

Mr Scott, of Adelaide, is the South Australian Independent Pricing and Access Regulator and was previously a Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Adelaide. This the first occasion on which a person has been appointed on the nomination of South Australia

Mr Reeves, of Hobart, has been re-appointed as the Commissioner of the Tasmanian Government Prices Oversight Commission. He was initially appointed as part-time member of the ACCC in 1996.

Mr Baxter, of Canberra, has had his part-time term as the Australian Capital Territory Independent pricing and Regulatory Commissioner extended. He is a member of the Independent Audit Group of the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council (part-time) and a partner of PriceWaterhouseCoopers. He was initially appointed as part-time member of the ACCC in 1998.


Associate members of the ACCC are engaged on a part-time basis and supplement the skills and experience available to the ACCC. At the conclusion of this round of appointments there are 6 full-time member and 14 part-time members (including 6 nominated by a State or a Territory).

4 June 1999

For further information contact Alistair Davey,
Treasurer’s Office on (02) 6277-7340

4 Jun 1999

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