Former Fair Work president to replace Combet at net zero agency

Former Fair Work Commission President Iain Ross will replace outgoing chair Greg Combet at the Net Zero Economy Agency.

Iain Ross

Dr Ross will take over as acting chair of the agency on June 1. He’ll become the inaugural chair of what will become the Net Zero Economy Authority when legislation establishing it passes parliament.

Mr Combet, who got the agency up and running during his 12 month term, will take up a role as Chair of the Future Fund following his appointment earlier this year.

Dr Ross brings with him a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of labour markets and economics, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said.

As well as serving at the Fair Work Commission, Dr Ross has been a Judge of the Federal Court and the Supreme Court of Victoria.

His career experience also includes Vice President of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission, Partner in the workplace relations practice group at Corrs Chambers Westgarth, and Assistant Secretary of the ACTU.

Supporting net zero transition

The federal Budget handed down earlier this month provides an additional $209.3 million for the Net Zero Economy Authority, which is designed to support Australia’s net zero transformation by supporting private and public investment, major project development, employment transition, skills and community development.

The government aims to cut emissions by 43 per cent by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.

The authority is pivotal to delivering that goal and promoting an orderly and positive economic transformation as the world decarbonises,  Mr Albanese said.

“The Net Zero Economy Authority will play an important role in one of the most significant economic events in Australian history and help position us as a renewable energy superpower,” he said in a statement.

“I would like to thank Mr Combet for his work in setting up the agency, and I welcome incoming Chair Dr Ross.”

Mr Combet said during his year with the agency there have been significant strides in advancing Australia’s net zero initiatives and laying the foundation for a sustainable future.

“As I pass the baton to Dr Ross, I am confident that his wealth of experience and deep understanding of labour markets and economics will steer the Authority towards new heights,” Mr Combet said.

“His leadership will undoubtedly catalyse the significant economic transformation Australia requires to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.”

Dr Ross said his appointment came at a pivotal moment in Australia’s history as the nation moves towards a net zero future.

“The task ahead is monumental, but I am confident that with our collective efforts, we can turn this challenge into an opportunity for Australia,” he said.

“We have the potential to not only achieve net zero emissions by 2050 but also to establish the nation as a leader in renewable energy.”

Dr Ross will be supported in the Authority by an independent Board, with members to be appointed once legislation is through. Open recruitment for a CEO will begin next month.

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