Chair and commissioners
AEMC Commissioners are appointed by Australia’s state, territory and federal governments to make the rules under the national energy laws, and to advise governments on overall energy market development.
The Commissioners exercise the AEMC’s statutory rule making and market development functions, subject to some delegations as explained below. Most of the functions relating to the management and day-to-day running of the organisation are the responsibility of the Chief Executive and the Executive Leadership Team. The Commission retains the majority of the statutory rule making powers and market development functions, and is also responsible for the AEMC’s strategic direction.
The Commissioners review the corporate governance framework of the organisation, overseeing the development of the AEMC’s strategic priorities and business planning, and approving corporate development initiatives as proposed by the Chief Executive with the Executive Leadership Team. The Commission holds monthly organisational meetings to review operational matters. In terms of risk management and reporting, the Commissioners review the AEMC’s budget, monitor its financial performance, and consider and approve the annual financial statements.
Mr John Pierce AO
John Pierce AO was appointed as the Chairman of the AEMC on 2 June 2010 and re-appointed on 2 June 2015. He has worked at the most senior levels of policy development and advised ministers, cabinets and the Council of Australian Governments. John is a former Secretary of the Federal Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, a former Chairman of NSW Treasury Corp and served for more than a decade as Secretary of the New South Wales Treasury. Prior to his time with Treasury, his energy business and operational experience was at Pacific Power and the Electricity Commission of NSW. He is a member of the UNSW Australian School of Business (ASB) Advisory Council and Macquarie University’s Industry Advisory Board, Department of Economics. John has also been appointed as Adjunct Professor in the Office of the Pro Vice Chancellor (Business), Griffith University. From 2010 to 2012 he served as Panel Chair of the Electricity Supply Industry Expert Panel which conducted a comprehensive review of the development of Tasmania’s electricity industry. John holds a Bachelor of Commerce with Honours from the University of New South Wales. He was nominated for appointment by state and territory energy ministers.
Dr Brian Spalding
Brian Spalding was appointed as a part time Commissioner of the AEMC on 19 April 2010 and re-appointed on 19 April 2013 and 19 April 2016. He has held key implementation and operational roles in national and state electricity markets since their conception in the early 1990s. He was Chief Executive Officer of the National Electricity Market Management Company (NEMMCO) where he was responsible for the operation of the national electricity market and power system for south and eastern Australia. Prior to joining the AEMC he was Executive General Manager Operations of the Australian Energy Market Operator. Brian holds a Bachelor of Science, a Bachelor of Engineering with First Class Honours and a Doctor of Philosophy in Power System Analysis from the University of New South Wales. He was nominated for appointment by the Commonwealth energy minister.
Ms Allison Warburton
Allison has worked in the energy sector for more than twenty years, advising energy users, governments and major corporations on energy policy and legislation. Allison was previously national head of Minter Ellison’s climate change and renewables practice, and has been involved in emissions reduction and clean energy projects, and advised on the Renewable Energy Target, the Emissions Reduction Fund and other legislative schemes to report and reduce emissions.
In 2016 she was appointed by the Queensland Government to its independent Renewable Energy Expert Panel to advise on credible pathways to achieving the government’s renewable energy target. She served as a non-executive director of Stanwell Corporation Limited until January 2018 and previously advised the Australian Greenhouse Office on developing new laws to regulate geological carbon capture and storage.
Allison has a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Queensland Law Society and the Law Council of Australia.
Mr Charles Popple
Charles Popple has spent more than four decades in the energy network sector. In the 1990s he played a significant role in the development of the National Electricity Market including reform of the network sector and the implementation of transmission system planning and pricing arrangements.
He has also held management roles with Victorian Power Exchange, VENCorp, SPI PowerNet and SP AusNet. As a consultant, his focus was on energy markets and regulatory arrangements, with a view to achieving a balance between security, environmental challenges, and competitive pricing and products for energy consumers.
Charles has a Bachelor of Engineering from Monash University and a Master of Engineering Science in power system engineering from the University of Melbourne.
Ms Michelle Shepherd
Michelle has over 20 years’ experience in energy policy and regulation in both the private and public sectors and has been at the forefront of the markets' development across Australia.
Michelle was the General Manager Regulatory and Government Affairs at Alinta Energy for 6 years where she was actively involved in energy policy reform and the commercial implementation of policy changes nationally. Prior to Alinta, Michelle spent nearly 10 years at AGL where she played a key role in the development of the regulatory frameworks across Australia. Michelle has also worked for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, UK Competition Commission and the Federal Department of Finance.
Michelle has strong Board experience and a focus on governance. She is currently the Vice President (Deputy Chair) of the YMCA WA and spent almost 5 years on the board of REMCo when it operated the WA gas market. She is a Graduate of the AICD Company Directors Course and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Curtin University and a Bachelor of Applied Economics from Murdoch University.