Under Section 22 of the Australian Energy Market Commission Establishment Act 2004 (SA)AEMC Commissioners must disclose any direct or indirect conflicts of interest in any matter the AEMC is considering. These disclosures are formally minuted and are also published on the AEMC website.

A robust and transparent approach to disclosure of interests and managing potential conflicts is essential to preserve the integrity of the AEMC’s decision-making and to ensure that people with relevant experience and knowledge are available to serve the Commission.

AEMC and the Commissioners are required:

  • to identify interests that may fall within a ‘direct or indirect’ interest that could conflict with the proper performance of the Commissioner’s functions
  • to manage conflicts of interest if they arise in relation to matters being considered at a meeting of the Commission
  • to disclose any interest of a Commissioner at a meeting of the Commission
  • to record any disclosure of a conflict of interest by a Commissioner in the minutes of the Commission meeting
  • to make a decision about the appropriate action to be taken to manage the potential conflict (if any)
  • to record any decision about the appropriate action to be taken (if any) in the minutes of the meeting of the Commission
  • to provide a summary of these matters and decisions in the AEMC's annual report.

The AEMC has established processes to put into effect these requirements (including cases where it is possible that a perception of a conflict of interest might arise).

Any third parties with concerns about possible conflicts of interest are invited to raise them with the AEMC’s Chief Executive.

The AEMC has a policy of open disclosure regarding arrangements by each of the Commissioners for the ongoing management of conflicts of interest.

Ms Anna Collyer was appointed as the full time Chairperson of the AEMC by the Governor of South Australia with effect from 1 February 2021. Ms Collyer is appointed for a period of 5 years and her term expires on 31 January 2026.

Ms Collyer was a partner of law firm Allens up until 31 December 2020 and is entitled to a share in profits of the firm for work undertaken prior to 31 December 2020. To manage any actual or perceived conflict arising from this entitlement, Ms Collyer will have no involvement in the AEMC’s final selection and approval process for engaging external legal service providers during 2021. 

Ms Collyer is entitled to post retirement income from Allens following her retirement from the partnership, which is determined by a set formula. To manage any actual or perceived conflict, Ms Collyer has waived her entitlement to this income for the duration of her term as Chairperson.

On 13 October 2021, the AEMC received a rule change request from Dr Kerry Schott AO, who was at the time Chair of the Energy Security Board, to change the Reliability Panel’s obligation to prepare the 2022 reliability standard and settings review (2022 RSSR rule change). The request proposes to remove the requirement for the Reliability Panel to review the reliability settings in 2022, with the ESB to instead undertake the review as part of the capacity mechanism reforms. On 1 November 2021, Ms Collyer was appointed as Chair of the ESB, alongside her role as Chair of the AEMC. To manage any actual or perceived conflict, on and from 24 November 2021 Ms Collyer has, and will for the duration of the rule change request, absent herself from the AEMC’s decision making (including not attending any agenda items at Commission meetings) in relation to the 2022 RSSR rule change (ERC0336). Further, Ms Collyer will not have access to Commission meeting papers related to the draft and final rule determinations for this rule change prior to the relevant Commission meetings being held and the relevant statutory decisions being made. 

Ms Collyer does not consider that she has any other commitments that give rise to conflicts that require management.

Mr Charles Popple was appointed as a part time Commissioner by the Governor of South Australia with effect from 17 February 2018. Mr Popple is appointed for a period of 5 years and his term expires on 16 February 2023.

On 13 October 2021, the AEMC received a rule change request from Dr Kerry Schott AO, who was at the time Chair of the Energy Security Board, to change the Reliability Panel’s obligation to prepare the 2022 reliability standard and settings review (2022 RSSR rule change). The request proposes to remove the requirement for the Reliability Panel to review the reliability settings in 2022, with the ESB to instead undertake the review as part of the capacity mechanism reforms. In April 2019, Mr Popple was appointed as Chair of the Reliability Panel, a position which he still holds. To manage any actual or perceived conflict, on and from 24 November 2021  Mr Popple has, and will for the duration of the rule change request, absent himself from the AEMC’s decision making (including not attending any agenda items at Commission meetings) in relation to the 2022 RSSR rule change (ERC0336). Further, Mr Popple will not have access to Commission meeting papers related to the draft and final rule determinations for this rule change prior to the relevant Commission meetings being held and the relevant statutory decisions being made.

Mr Popple does not consider that he has any other commitments that give rise to conflicts that require management.

Mrs Michelle Shepherd was reappointed as a part time Commissioner by the Governor of South Australia with effect from 11 June 2021. Mrs Shepherd was appointed for a further 3 year period and her term expires on 10 June 2024.

Mrs Shepherd does not consider that she has any commitments that give rise to conflicts that require management.

Mr Tim Jordan was appointed as a part-time Commissioner of the AEMC by the Governor of South Australia with effect from 10 October 2022. Mr Jordan is appointed for a period of 5 years and his term expires on 9 October 2027.

Mr Jordan has previously advised market participants of, and investors in, Australia’s energy markets while working at Accenture, Pollination and Deutsche Bank. To manage any actual or perceived conflicts, he will monitor and inform the Commission of any matter that could give rise to a potential conflict in respect of past advice or consultancy work to ensure it is considered and, if necessary, an appropriate management plan is implemented. If a conflict may arise, he will absent himself from the relevant decision- making of the AEMC.

Mr Jordan does not consider that he has any commitments that give rise to conflicts that require management.

Ms Sally McMahon was appointed as a part-time Commissioner of the AEMC by the Governor of South Australia with effect from 10 October 2022. Ms McMahon is appointed for a period of 5 years and her term expires on 9 October 2027.

Ms McMahon is the Independent Chair of the Market Advisory Committee (MAC), Pilbara Advisory Committee (PAC) and Gas Advisory Committee (GAB) in relation to the Wholesale Energy Market Rules, Pilbara Network Rules and Gas Service Information Rules, respectively, in Western Australia.

The Independent Chair’s role is to manage the activities of the MAC, GAB and PAC and to facilitate the delivery of their work. Under the Rules that govern the MAC, PAC and GAB, the Independent Chair must, in the opinion of the responsible Minister, be free from any business or other relationship that could materially interfere with the independent exercise of the judgement of the Chair. In addition all minutes of meeting, meeting papers and advices of the MAC, PAC and GAB are accessible to the public here: MAC, PAC and GAB.

To manage any actual or perceived conflicts, Ms McMahon will:

  • When chairing the MAC, PAC and GAB and when facilitating the provision of advice from those bodies to any third party, ensure that any written statements or records of meetings make clear that the Chair is an independent Chair and that the  advice represents the views of the MAC, PAC or GAB (as applicable) and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Chair.
  • Monitor and inform the Commission of any matter that could give rise to a potential conflict in relation to her role as Chair or the work of the MAC, PAC and GAB to ensure it is considered and, if necessary, an appropriate management plan is implemented. If a conflict may arise, Commissioner McMahon will absent herself from the relevant decision-making of the MAC, PAC or GAB or the decision-making on the relevant matter of the AEMC, as appropriate.

Ms McMahon holds the role of Special Adviser to the Coordinator of Energy and is a member of the Electricity Review Board in Western Australia (ERB). To manage any actual or perceived conflicts arising from these roles, Ms McMahon:

  • Will formally relinquish the Special Adviser role by 10 December 2022 and not undertake any further work in the Special Adviser role prior to that date.
  • In relation to the ERB, is currently a sitting member in proceedings 1 of 2019 and will cease that position once the decision on liability (which is currently reserved) is finalised. Ms McMahon will otherwise not be involved in any other work of the ERB during her term as a Commissioner.
  • Will monitor and inform the Commission of any matter that could give rise to a potential conflict as a result of past or current work in relation to each of these roles to ensure it is considered and, if necessary, an appropriate management plan is implemented. If a conflict may arise, Commissioner McMahon will absent herself from the relevant decision-making of the AEMC.

Ms McMahon was an adviser to EnergyCo in NSW. To manage any actual or perceived conflict, she will monitor and inform the Commission of any matter that could give rise to a potential conflict in respect of past advice to ensure it is considered and, if necessary, an appropriate management plan is implemented. If a conflict may arise, she will absent herself from the relevant decision-making of the AEMC.

Ms McMahon is a managing director of Sally McMahon and Associates. To manage any actual or perceived conflict, she will:

  • Not engage in advisory work related to Australian energy markets by way of Sally McMahon and Associates for her term as Commissioner.
  • Monitor and inform the Commission of any matter that could give rise to a potential conflict in respect of past advice to ensure it is considered and, if necessary, an appropriate management plan is implemented. If a conflict may arise, she will absent herself from the relevant decision-making of the AEMC.

Ms McMahon does not consider that she has any other commitments that give rise to conflicts that require management.