13 December 2019

Appointment of Commonwealth Members to the Australian Energy Regulator


Joint media release with
The Hon Angus Taylor MP
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction

The Morrison Government is pleased to announce the appointments of Mr Eric Groom PSM and Mr Justin Oliver as full-time Commonwealth members of the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), and Ms Catriona Lowe as a full-time State/Territory member of the AER. The appointments are each for a five-year period commencing from 3 February 2020.

The AER is responsible for regulating energy networks, retailers and wholesale markets. It also protects the interests of household and small business consumers by enforcing the National Energy Retail Law.

Mr Groom has over 35 years of experience as an economist with a focus on regulation and energy efficiency. From 2016 to 2019, he was appointed as a member of the AER’s Consumer Challenge Panel. He has also held senior roles at the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of New South Wales.

Mr Oliver has close to 20 years of experience in network regulation. He was previously the head of the ACCC’s regulatory law practice, where he was responsible for advising the ACCC on all aspects of electricity network and gas pipeline regulation and contributed to the establishment of the AER.

Ms Lowe has over 20 years of experience in litigation and consumer advocacy, and has held roles with the Consumer Action Law Centre, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman and the ACCC. She is currently Chair of the ACCC’s Consumer Consultative Committee.

The Government congratulates Mr Groom, Mr Oliver and Ms Lowe on their appointments, and looks forward to their contributions to the important work of the AER.

The legislative changes that increase the AER Board to five full-time members will come into effect on 3 February 2020 and no longer have a requirement for an ACCC Commissioner to be a member of the AER Board.

Cristina Cifuentes will step down from her role as a part-time Board member of the AER but will continue in her role as a full-time Commissioner at the ACCC. The Government thanks Ms Cifuentes for her significant contribution to the work of the AER over the past nine years.