For the first time in Queensland a female has been appointed the new independent Energy and Water Ombudsman (EWOQ).

Queensland Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply, Mark Bailey, said Jane Pires has been appointed the new EWOQ for a three-year period beginning in early December 2016.

The EWOQ is a free, fair, independent and confidential dispute resolution service for Queenslanders who are unable to resolve a complaint with their electricity or gas supplier and also provides this service for water supply customers in south east Queensland.

“This a truly significant appointment and the Palaszczuk Government welcomes Jane Pires as the first woman to fill this important role,” Mr Bailey said.

“Ms Pires was appointed following a competitive national selection process that attracted a high-quality field of over 60 applicants. She was an exceptional applicant.

“Ms Pires replaces Forbes Smith who moved on to be the Chief Executive of the Crime and Corruption Commission and I thank Mr Smith for his outstanding work as the Ombudsman from 2011.”

Ms Pires has more than 25 years’ experience in customer service, complaint management and dispute resolution and has most recently been the Executive Manager for Group Customer Relations for Suncorp.

“Ms Pires has demonstrated extensive senior executive experience in dispute resolution, a highly professional approach to dispute resolution and an ability to grasp complex technical issues,” Mr Bailey said.

“Ms Pires has also been on the board of the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals Australia for 10 years, including serving three terms as President and is the current Vice President.”

Lauren brings a fresh approach to content. While she’s previously written for publications as diverse as Australian Geographic, The Border Watch and Girlfriend, she’s found her true passion in her current role as an editor in the world of energy and infrastructure trade magazines.

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