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The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has appointed a new Chair.

Leading energy sector lawyer and innovator, Anna Collyer, was appointed in the position.

Ms Collyer has been advising clients in the energy industry for more than 20 years and has overseen significant projects in energy sector reform.

Ms Collyer previously held a position as Partner and Head of Innovation at Allens law firm, where she has also focused on adapting legal services to meet the challenges associated with technological change and digital disruption.

AEMC Commissioners, Merryn York, Charles Popple, Allison Warburton and Michelle Shepherd, and Chief Executive, Benn Barr, welcomed Ms Collyer to the role, saying the organisation would benefit from her considerable skills, experience and insight.

Ms Collyer has advised governments, market institutions, industry participants and large energy users on a wide range of matters, including industry reform, renewable energy projects, power purchase agreements and privatisations. She has advised on introducing retail competition in electricity and gas in Victoria and worked on developing the national framework for electricity and gas retail and distribution.

Ms Collyer also has a particular interest in diversity, inclusion and people management, and has acted as a role model and advocate for women at work.

“As someone who is focused on taking a partnership approach to developing solutions, I am very much looking forward to joining the AEMC, which has a strong reputation for deep thinking and effective collaboration,” Ms Collyer said.

“Rapid advances in technology are affecting all aspects of our lives but this is particularly so in energy, where the system’s transformation presents unique opportunities and challenges. It is an important time to be working in the energy sector.”

The Australian Energy Council’s Chief Executive, Sarah McNamara, welcomed the announcement, saying, “Ms Collyer’s distinguished career as a lawyer and previous roles in the energy sector equip her extremely well to lead the AEMC.

“Her work on energy sector reform via the COAG Energy Council and the AEMC, and her proven track record of working constructively with government and industry stakeholders on energy market reforms represents an ideal blend of experience, skills and strategic knowledge.

“Ms Collyer’s appointment comes at an important time not just for the AEMC, but also for the Energy Security Board and the sector generally, which continues to wrestle with the challenges of an extended period of transformational change.

“I, along with the AEC’s members, wish Anna every success and look forward to working with her in this new and significant role.

“We also thank Merryn York for her leadership of the AEMC through this transitional period as Acting Chair.”

ENA Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Dillon, said Ms Collyer brought valuable skills and experience to the role at a crucial time for the sector.

“The rate of change in the energy industry is rapid and relentless as we work to accommodate an increasingly renewables-based system and address the challenges and opportunities that presents,” Mr Dillon said.

“There are a raft of review and reform processes underway that will shape the future of the energy sector, and the AEMC has a pivotal role as rule maker and key policy adviser.

“It is vital in this environment that our regulatory and governance systems adapt to keep pace with this change and that they focus on customer outcomes.

“ENA and our members look forward to working with Ms Collyer in her new role.”

Ms Collyer will begin her term as Chair of the Commission on 1 Feb 2021.

The role of AEMC Chair is agreed to by the nation’s energy ministers and appointed by the South Australian Governor, on the recommendation of the South Australian Minister responsible for the AEMC Establishment Act.

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