The Clean Energy Regulator is the independent statutory authority, governed by the Regulator, a decision-making body consisting of a Chair and other Members. The Regulator is responsible for determining the agency's strategic objectives and policies which underpin its operation and performance to ensure it functions effectively.
Members of the Regulator are appointed by the responsible minister under the
Clean Energy Regulator Act 2011, and are required to have substantial experience or knowledge in fields relevant to the Clean Energy Regulator. The Chair holds office on a full-time basis. All other Members hold office on a part-time basis.
In June 2021, the Regulator had four Members, including the Chair. Mr Michael D'Ascenzo AO was appointed on 22 March 2013 and Dr Peter Davis was appointed on 18 January 2016. Kate Vidgen has been recently appointed. Mr David Parker AM was appointed as Chair of the Clean Energy Regulator on 3 July 2017.
In addition to their collective responsibilities, Members of the Regulator each apply their expertise to a specific area of focus. This adds depth to the Regulator's appreciation of its operating environment and enables agency officers to draw directly on Members' knowledge and experience. Members provide an update on their area of focus at each Regulator meeting.
Current membership of the Regulator includes:
The Minister appointed David Parker as Chair of the Clean Energy Regulator on 3 July 2017.
Mr Parker has extensive experience in economics and public administration with a long professional involvement in policy and regulatory matters in a range of areas.
Prior to joining the agency, Mr Parker was Deputy Secretary at the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. Mr Parker was responsible for the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences, the Department's Water, Export, Trade and Market Access divisions.
Mr Parker has been Deputy Secretary at the Department of the Environment and Energy with responsibility for water, Antarctica and National parks, and elements of climate change policy.
Mr Parker spent 25 years at Treasury, where he worked on financial sector liberalisation, tax reform, macroeconomic forecasting and policy, competition policy, energy policy and international economic issues. He was made a Deputy Secretary in 2004.
From 1997 to 2002 Mr Parker worked at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris. Mr Parker has qualifications in economics and law and was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2012.
Mr D'Ascenzo is recognised internationally for his leadership and expertise in administration, strategy and governance, and for his technical and design skills in tax law and superannuation.
Mr D'Ascenzo is an adjunct professor of the University of New South Wales. He also consults internationally on the modernisation of organizations, especially those working on tax policy or administration.
Mr D'Ascenzo's previous roles include Commissioner of Taxation for 7 years (from 2006 to 2012), and more recently as a member of the Foreign Investment Review Board (2013 to 2017), and as a non-executive director of Australia Post (2013 to 2016).
Mr D'Ascenzo holds degrees in economics and law from the Australian National University. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School Program for Management Development, the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia, Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Fellow of the Australian Risk Policy Institute, Honorary Life Fellow of CPA Australia and Honorary Fellow of the Association of Taxation and Management Accountants.
In 2010, Mr D'Ascenzo was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for service to public administration, particularly through reform and innovative engagement with the taxation profession and government agencies. In 2012, he was named the Institute of Chartered Accountants' Federal Government Leader of the Year.
Dr Davis has extensive experience in the Australian energy sector, including 19 years at Chief Executive and General Manager level. He has extensive experience in regulatory and structural reform of critical infrastructure services in both regulated and competitive markets, with particular expertise in renewable energy, energy efficiency and demand side management.
Dr Davis is an independent non-executive Director of the Australian Energy Market Operator, and is Chair of AEMO's Technical and Regulatory Committee and a Member of the Zema Scholarship Trust Fund. He is a Member of the University of Tasmania's Built Environment and Infrastructure Committee. From 2004 to 2014 he was Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Aurora Energy Pty Ltd, an energy utility with interests in electricity distribution, generation, retail and gas supply. He was a Director of the Energy Supply Association of Australia from 2008 to 2014, and chaired the ESAA's Greenhouse Policy Committee.
Dr Davis holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the Solar Energy Research Centre at the University of Queensland, a Master of Business Administration from Deakin University, an honours degree in science from Monash University and degrees in science and education from the University of Tasmania. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Engineers Australia.
Ms Vidgen has experience across a number of sectors including infrastructure, utilities and telecommunications. Her primary focus is now in energy and specifically, energy transition.
Ms Vidgen is currently the Global Head of Energy Principal at Macquarie Capital. She has undertaken a variety of roles at Macquarie in the energy sector, including Global Co-Head of a specialised group focussing on advising and investing in Resources Infrastructure and running the Australian coal advisory business. More recently Ms Vidgen has been working to develop a strategy and global team for Macquarie Capital and the Green Investment Group to support the energy transition. This includes overseeing a number of development projects in the hydrogen and green ammonia industry, carbon capture and storage and renewable fuels generally.
Ms Vidgen also undertakes a variety of governance and leadership functions across the Macquarie Group including sitting on the Global Management Committee of Infrastructure and Energy in Macquarie Capital, and as a member of Macquarie Group’s Global Green Committee and a member of the Macquarie Capital WHSE Global Leadership Group.
From 2015 to 2018, Ms Vidgen was Founding Chair of Quadrant Energy, a large independent oil and gas producer and explorer in Western Australia.
Ms Vidgen is a Non-Executive Director of Aurizon Holdings Ltd and is the Chair of the Aurizon Remuneration and HR Committee. She supports a number of not-for-profit and industry associations including sitting on the Council of Bond University in Queensland, being on the APAC Advisory Board of the Hawthorn Club and a member of the Hydrogen Sub-Committee of the Australia Korean Business Council.
She is a strong supporter of diversity and is a member of Queensland Chapter of Chief Executive Women and was a prior Victorian Chair and National Board Member.
Ms Anne Brown resigned as a Member of the Clean Energy Regulator, effective as of 2 December 2020.
Ms Virginia Malley resigned as a Member of the Clean Energy Regulator, effective as of 2 December 2020.
Ms Swirepik was appointed acting Chair of the Clean Energy Regulator following Ms Munro's resignation. Her term ended on 2 July 2017.
Ms Munro resigned as Chair of the Clean Energy Regulator, effective as of 31 March 2017.
Dr Sargent resigned as a Member of the Clean Energy Regulator, effective as of 24 January 2015.
Ms Granger resigned as a Member of the Clean Energy Regulator, effective as of 14 September 2012.
For more information about the Members of the Regulator, contact the secretariat on
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The Clean Energy Regulator is a Government body responsible for accelerating carbon abatement for Australia.