Peter Costello

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Appointment of Acting ACCC Chairman



I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Graeme Samuel AO to act as Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) from 1 July 2003 for a period of 12 months.

The position of Chairman will become vacant on 30 June, when Professor Allan Fels AO resigns to become Foundation Dean of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government. I again acknowledge the great contribution to public service made by Professor Fels and pay tribute to his tireless efforts, energy and commitment.

The Commonwealth has previously sought nominations from the States and Territories for persons suitable for appointment as Chairman of the ACCC. Mr Samuel was supported by four States and Territories. In addition he is supported by the Commonwealth. No other candidate received significant support.

Mr Samuel's extensive knowledge of and experience in competition law, which includes serving as President of the National Competition Council, clearly makes him highly qualified for the position. It also makes him suitable to act as Chairman to fill the vacancy to be created by the departure of Professor Fels.

Within the next 12 months I will write to the States and Territories seeking their support for the permanent appointment of Mr Samuel as Chairman and Ms Louise Sylvan, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Consumers' Association, as Deputy Chairperson of the ACCC.

Mr Samuel and Ms Sylvan would jointly bring a balanced understanding of competition, business and consumer issues that would best ensure the ability of the ACCC to carry out its function to promote competition and protect consumers throughout Australia.
Mr Samuel will resign from the National Competition Council before taking up the position of ACCC Chairman. Dr Wendy Craik, a current Councillor of the NCC, will be appointed to act as President from 1 July until 30 November 2003 when the terms of all existing NCC Councillors expire. Before that time the States and Territories will be invited to make nominations for membership of the NCC, including the position of President.


Mr Samuel was appointed to the National Competition Council in 1995 and has been the NCC's President since 1997. He was formerly a partner of Melbourne law firm Phillips Fox & Masel and an executive director of Macquarie Bank and is a former President of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1998.

This appointment maintains at 18 the number of persons appointed to the ACCC. The full-time members from 1 July will be:

Acting Chairman:  Mr Graeme Samuel AO.

Full-time members:  Mr Sitesh Bhojani, Mr Ross Jones, Ms Jennifer McNeill, Mr John Martin and Mr Ed Willett.

28 May 2003

Contact: Niki Savva
02 6277 7340

28 May 2003

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