Peter Costello

Media Releases

Appointments to the Productivity Commission



I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Neil Byron and Mrs Angela MacRae as part-time Commissioners of the Productivity Commission.  Dr Neil Byron’s term as a full-time Commissioner will expire on 16 April 2007 and he will then take on a part-time Commissioner role for five years commencing on 17 April 2007.  Mrs MacRae’s term will be for three years which commenced on 19 March 2007.

The Productivity Commission Act 1998 requires that at least one Commissioner have extensive skills and experience in applying principles of ecologically sustainable development and environmental conservation.  Dr Byron’s appointment would ensure that requirement continues to be met.

Mrs MacRae previously was a consultant focusing on issues affecting small business and was the Chairman of the Independent Contractors Association of Australia.  She has previously been appointed by the Government to a range of positions, most recently to the Taskforce on Reducing the Regulatory Burdens on Business.

The Productivity Commission Act 1998 provides for the appointment by the Governor-General of no fewer than four nor more than eleven Commissioners to assist the Chairman for terms up to five years.

The other members of the Commission are:  Mr Gary Banks (Chairman), Mr Robert Fitzgerald, Mr Michael Woods, Professor Judith Sloan, Mr Philip Weickhardt, Dr Steven Kates and Mr Gary Potts.

I am also pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Matthew Butlin and Professor Clifford Walsh as Associate Commissioners to assist with coming projects for the Productivity Commission.

Dr Matthew Butlin has also been appointed as a part-time Associate Commissioner until 30 November 2007.  He will assist with the first phase of the recently announced Annual Review of Regulatory Burdens on Business focused on the primary sector.  Dr Butlin has recently been working in the mining industry and prior to this, has had positions with leading Australian companies in the private sector.

Professor Clifford Walsh has been appointed to the Commission as a part-time Associate Commissioner until 30 April 2008.  He will assist with the forthcoming research study into Assessing Local government Revenue Raising Capacity.  Professor Walsh is currently Emeritus Professor at the Centre for Economic Studies at the University of Adelaide.  He is also a member of the Australian Competition Tribunal and a member of the Radiation Health and Safety Advisory Council.

The Productivity Commission is the Australian Government’s principal advisory body on all aspects of microeconomic reform. The Commission’s work covers all sectors of the economy. It extends to the public and private sectors and focuses on areas of Commonwealth as well as State and Territory responsibility. The statutory functions of the Commission are to hold public inquiries and report on matters related to industry and productivity; provide secretariat services and research services to government bodies such as the Council of Australian Governments; investigate and report on complaints about the implementation of the Australian Government’s competitive neutrality arrangements; advise the Treasurer on matters related to industry and productivity as requested; initiate research on industry and productivity issues; and promote public understanding of matters related to industry and productivity. The Commission may also undertake any other activities incidental to these functions and has some flexibility in how it performs these

4 April 2007


David Gazard - 03 9650 0244

4 Apr 2007

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