Justice, Opportunity and Shared Wealth for all South Australians

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Community Engagement Conference Speakers

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Please Note: Due to circumstances beyond SACOSS’ control, Sonia Brown did not present at the Consumer Engagement in Energy and Water Regulation Conference on 18 August. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Stephen Littlechild
International Consultant on Privatisation, Regulation and CompetitionStephen Littlechild

Stephen Littlechild is Fellow at Judge Business School, Cambridge University, and Emeritus Professor at Birmingham University, where he was previously Professor of Commerce (1975-1989). He was a member of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission (1983-1988), Director General of Electricity Supply and head of the Office of Electricity Regulation (1989-1998), and non-executive Member of the Postal Services Commission (Postcomm) (2006-2011).

Since 1999 he has been an international consultant on privatisation, regulation and competition, including in the electricity, telecommunications, water and airport sectors.

Jim Cox
AER BoardJim Cox

On 26 June 2014, Jim Cox was appointed as a full-time State/Territory member of the AER for a three-year period. Jim was previously appointed as acting full-time State/Territory member of the AER from September 2013.  

Jim has held positions with the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Social Welfare Policy Secretariat of the Department of Social Security.  He was a Principal Economist at the Office of EPAC between 1986 and 1989, and between 1989 and 1992 was a consultant to the New South Wales Cabinet Office.  Jim was Principal Adviser to the Government Pricing Tribunal of New South Wales from 1992 and was a Member of the Tribunal since January, 1996.  He was Acting Chairman of IPART during 2004, 2009/10 and 2011 and a visiting fellow at Monash University during 1985.

Jim assisted the New Zealand Government with social policy changes during the early part of 1991 and has written extensively on economic and social policy issues.  This work has been published, among others, by the New Zealand Business Roundtable and the Centre for Independent Studies. He was awarded the Public Service Medal in the Australia Day honours list in 2011 for outstanding public service to IPART.

Jo De Silva
Consumer Challenge PanelJo De Silva

Ms Jo De Silva is a member of the Australian Energy Regulator’s Consumer Challenge Panel and a Senior Policy Officer responsible for energy and water policy at the South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS). Jo is also Convenor of the National Consumer Roundtable on Energy and a member of the Energy Consumers Australia Reference Committee. Since commencing these roles, Jo has contributed to a significant number of policy, legislative and regulatory processes.

Jo’s previous experience and her current roles have provided her with good links to a number of consumer organisations, the Essential Services Commission of South Australia, AER, AEMC, AEMO, government departments, Members of Parliament and their staff. Jo’s previous work experience includes Economics and Social Justice Adviser to Australian Greens Senator Bob Brown.

John Bradley
Energy Networks AssociationJohn Bradley

John Bradley is an experienced chief executive with diverse experience in the electricity, gas, water and resources sectors. He has been a consultant to the IMF on State Owned Enterprise reform and served as the Director General of Queensland’s Department of Premier and Cabinet until 2012.  He was the Director General of the Department of Environment and Resource Management from 2009 to 2012 and the CEO of the Queensland Water Commission during the Millennium drought.  John led the restructure and economic regulation of the Western Australian electricity industry in 2006 and the South East Queensland Water industry in 2010. Earlier in his career, he undertook regulatory reforms in Queensland’s gas industry and led significant power and gas infrastructure projects.

John holds an MBA from QUT and BA from the University of Queensland. He serves as a non-executive Director of Greening Australia Limited.

Bruce Mountain
CME AustraliaBruce Mountain

Bruce is an economist with specialisms in the economic regulation of monopolies and in the design of electricity markets and renewable energy policies. He was worked in Australia and internationally. He has degrees in Electrical Engineering, is qualified as an accountant, and is undertaking doctoral research on the political economy of regulation in Australia.

Lewis W Owens
SA Water BoardLew Owens

Lew is currently a non-Executive Director on the Boards of SA Water Corporation and Country Arts SA. He is also a Reconciliation Ambassador, and Chair of the Energy, Water and Resources Sector Aboriginal Employment Cluster.

He was previously the CEO of ETSA Utilities and the Chairman of the Essential Services Commission.

David Snadden
Yarra Valley WaterDavid Snadden

David Snadden is General Manager Strategy and Communications at Yarra Valley Water where he leads corporate strategy, regulatory, customer insights and experience, and the strategic communications functions.

David has twenty years’ water industry experience in a diverse range of senior leadership roles.

Ron Ben-David
Essential Services Commission of VictoriaRon Ben-David

Ron Ben-David has served as Chairperson of the Essential Services Commission of Victoria since late-2008. The Commission is Victoria’s economic regulator and covers the electricity and gas, water, port, freight rail, taxi, towtruck and local government sectors. The Commission also administers the Victorian Energy Efficiency Scheme.

Dr Ben‑David joined the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance in 1998. This was followed by a number of years in the Department of Premier and Cabinet where he became a Deputy Secretary in 2004. In 2007, he established Victoria’s Office of Climate Change and then headed the Secretariat for the Garnaut Climate Change Review. Dr Ben-David has written and presented on a wide range of topics including: governance and regulation in the water industry, retail energy markets, climate change, sustainability, federalism, local government, taxi reform and economic philosophy.

He holds a B. Science (Optometry), B. Comm (Hons) and Ph.D (Economics). In 2005, Dr Ben-David became a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration (Vic). He is a regulator presenter and a member of numerous advisory councils.

David Swift
Australian Energy Market OperatorDavid Swift

David is the Executive General Manager of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) with responsibility for AEMO’s relationships with key stakeholders and the company’s future direction in the light of regulatory, policy and reform leadership.  AEMO has responsibility for operating the electricity and gas markets in eastern and southern Australia including the management of the national grid.  It also has a range of planning and forecasting roles related to these markets.

Prior to joining AEMO, David was the Chief Executive of the Electricity Supply Industry Planning Council of South Australia. The ESIPC provided an expert, independent source of advice to the South Australian Minister for Energy and the industry regulator (ESCOSA) in relation to the State’s electricity industry.  The ESIPC undertook important work on the integration of renewable energy into the power system, given the strong growth of wind generation in particular in South Australia. 

David joined the Planning Council in June 2004 after four years in the National Electricity Code Administrator (NECA) as the Associate Director responsible for market development.  Prior to moving to NECA, David worked in the electricity industry for 24 years. 

David was a member of the Expert Reference Panel to the Energy White Paper.

Jo Witters
Australian Energy Market OperatorJo Witters

Jo has over 15 years’ experience working in the energy sector, in Australia and internationally, with roles covering a range of strategy, market development and regulatory matters. Jo is currently working in the Office of the CEO at the Australian Energy Market Operator, where she is developing the forward looking AEMO Corporate Strategy. 

Prior to this Jo was working within the AEMO Corporate Development department as Group Manager, Regulatory Policy.  Before joining AEMO, Jo held a number of roles at the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), the British energy regulator, in the UK, and before that at Transpower and in consultancy in her native New Zealand.

Greg Thorpe
Oakley GreenwoodGreg Thorpe

Greg Thorpe is an Executive Director of Oakley Greenwood, a consultancy firm in the electricity, gas and water sectors. Greg has 40 years of professional experience with a focus on the electricity sector. He holds qualifications in engineering, business and alternative dispute resolution. He has worked for a previous state utility, regulatory and market bodies and currently assists clients across Australia and internationally on the practical implementation and functioning of network based energy supply chains.

He has particular interest in governance, market design, resolution of disputes and how to set the balance between reliability and cost.   

David Hensher
The University of SydneyDavid Hensher

David Hensher is Professor of Management, and Founding Director of the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies (ITLS) at The University of Sydney. Educated in UK (Oxford), Kenya and Australia (UNSW), David is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences, Recipient of the 2009 International Association of Travel Behaviour Research (IATBR) Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition for his long-standing and exceptional contribution to IATBR as well as to the wider travel behaviour community; Recipient of the 2006 Engineers Australia Transport Medal for lifelong contribution to transportation. David is also the recipient of the Smart 2013 Premier Award for Excellence in Supply Chain Management, and recipient of the 2014 Institute of Transportation Engineers (Australia and New Zealand) Transport Profession Award. Honorary Fellow of Singapore Land Transport Authority, and a Past President of the International Association of Travel Behaviour Research.

He has published extensively (over 575 papers) in the leading international transport journals and key journals in economics as well as 12 books. David has contributed papers on water and energy security and demand with a focus on willingness to pay, with a recent advisory role on customer engagement with UK Southern Water. He has over 26,000 citations of his contributions in Google scholar. David has advised numerous government and industry agencies in many countries (notably Australia, New Zealand, UK, USA and The Netherlands), with a recent appointment to Infrastructure Australia’s reference panel on public transport, and is called upon regularly by the media for commentary.

Gavin Dufty
St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria
Gavin Dufty

Gavin currently works for the St Vincent de Paul Society Victoria (Vinnies) managing the policy and research unit. His work focuses on undertaking research and policy evaluation on issues affecting households. Gavin has a particular interest and expertise in domestic utility costs and associated concessions.

The work Gavin undertakes is informed by the day to day experiences of the activities of members and volunteers of the Vinnies.

Gavin is a member of a number of Industry and Government consultative and working groups including, The Victorian Government Ministerial Advisory Committee on Smart Meters; Consumer Affairs - Working Together Advisory Committee; Citipower / Powercor Customer Consultative Committee ; Australian Energy Regulator - Customer Consultative Committee; Australian Energy Market Operator - Energy Market Leaders Forum and AGL Energy - Customer committee.

Gavin was awarded a Centennial Medal in 2001 for Services to the Community.

Adam Wilson
Essential Services Commission
Adam Wilson of SA

Mr Wilson was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the Commission in August 2014 and has served in the South Australian public sector for nearly 20 years in a range of consumer protection and regulatory roles.

Mr Wilson has been employed by the Commission since 2002. During that time he has been responsible for managing regulatory roles across a range of the Commission’s functions – including consumer protection codes, industry licensing and compliance, community engagement, service and reliability standards and public reporting.

Prior to his appointment at the Commission, Mr Wilson held senior positions in the regulatory development and reform area, including with the Office of Consumer and Business Affairs.

Ross Womersley
South Australian Council of Social
SRoss Womersleyervice

Ross Womersley has had a long involvement in both the community services and disability sector. Ross joined the South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) as its Executive Director several years ago after more than 25 years working as CE of Community Living Project Inc – an innovative community organisation in the south of Adelaide, providing highly personalised support to people who have a disability to enable them to develop good lives in their local community.

His role with SACOSS has allowed him to deepen and extend his understanding of many of the issues he has always been passionate about as he works to assist SACOSS fulfil its aspirational vision - that there is justice, opportunity and shared wealth for all South Australians.

Ross remains passionate about ensuring we live in a community in which everyone is included and able to access the good things in life.