Victoria’s Assistant Treasurer, Robin Scott, has announced a new commissioner to the Essential Services Commission Board.
Competition law expert Sitesh Bhojani has been appointed to the role and will be joining fellow board members Kate Symons and Simon Corden.
The extra commissioner position was announced as part of the Victorian Government’s Energy Fairness Plan to strengthen consumer protection in the Victorian energy market.
With a litigation and enforcement background, Mr Bhojani will help the Commission set and enforce billing and marketing practices so that Victorians get fairer contract terms.
Mr Bhojani has extensive experience as a legal practitioner and in commissioner roles, including having worked with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Trade Practices Commission.
A recruitment process to appoint a new full-time commission chairperson is currently underway, with Ms Symons currently acting in the role.
The Victorian Government is putting Victorians back in control of their power bills through the Victorian Default Offer, which will cut the cost of power to households, while doubling fines to retailers who make wrongful disconnections.
The Energy Fairness Plan also gives the Commission clearer investigatory powers, as well as new powers to monitor and report on the Victorian retail energy market and crack down on retailers doing the wrong thing.
The Commission will take action if retailers ignore the ban on ‘win-backs’ – so-called short-term discounts that end up costing customers more in the long run.