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The Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) has appointed a new Chief Executive, effective 15 April 2020.

Benn Barr joins the AEMC following six years as Deputy Director General in the Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy.

Announcing Benn’s appointment, AEMC Chairman, John Pierce, said he was the outstanding candidate in an extensive recruitment process.

“2020 will be a landmark year for the AEMC – with fresh leadership to take the organisation forward and opportunities to respond to sweeping energy sector changes which continue to affect the whole economy,” Mr Pierce said.

“Benn has over 15 years’ experience in energy and climate change policy and demonstrates a deep understanding of the national energy market and opportunities for renewable energy. 

“He has expertise in the energy market and regulation, with a track record of providing strategic policy advice to government across a diverse range of resource management areas, as well as contributing to the national Council of Australian Governments (COAG) energy agenda.

“He has a strong interest in effective modern governance having recently undertaken professional development at the John F Kennedy School for Government at Harvard.  He was the Secretary of the Council for the Australian Federation, a collaborative intergovernmental group of state and territory First Ministers, and has served as the Queensland Government’s senior official for the COAG Energy Council.”

Chief Executive-elect, Mr Barr, said there has never been a more important time for the role the AEMC plays in providing a long-term view on the importance of flexible and resilient markets that deliver outcomes for all energy users.

“Working with the COAG Energy Council, federal and state governments on energy policy over most of my career, I have seen that market bodies working collaboratively and with integrity can make a real difference.

“To be successful, the transition underway in the energy sector requires deep analytical thinking and engagement across the energy sector, governments and the community. That is the AEMC’s great strength – and the reason why I am so attracted to this role,” Mr Barr said.

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