New Productivity Commissioners appointed

The federal government has announced new full time Commissioners to the Productivity Commission, including recruits from consulting firms PwC and KPMG.

Selwyn Button

Selwyn Button, Alison Roberts and Barry Sterland will serve for the next five years, while Catherine de Fontenay will continue in her current role for another five-year term.

“These appointments will help the Commission deliver on its mission of raising Australia’s productivity performance and prosperity in a rapidly evolving economic environment,” Treasurer Jim Chalmers said in a statement.

“These appointments will refresh and renew the leadership of the independent Productivity Commission and help ensure it can be as strong and as effective as possible.”

Dr Alison Roberts

Mr Button comes with a background in indigenous health, education and entrepreneurship. He will join the commission on July 15 from PwC Indigenous Consulting where he has been a Partner and Managing Director. Mr Button was previously Queensland’s Assistant Director-General of Indigenous Education, CEO of the Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council, and Chair of the Lowitja Institute.

Dr Roberts has more than 20 years’ experience in industry and health policy. She begins on September 18 from her role as inaugural CEO of Airlines for Australia & New Zealand. Dr Roberts has also been Executive Director of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and served in board-level roles in the South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network, the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, and the Australian Dementia Network.

Barry Sterland

Mr Sterland comes with experience in economic, climate and energy policy. He will join the PC on July 4 from KPMG where he has been the National Lead & Global co-lead of their Climate Policy Advisory. Mr Sterland was previously General Manager at AGL, and also served in Deputy Secretary-level roles at the Treasury and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, and as an Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund and Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Dr de Fontenay’s first five-year term as a full-time Commissioner commenced in July 2019. She has worked on a range of matters including inquiries on carer leave, access to credit, aged care employment, supply chains, and children & family services. She previously held positions at the Melbourne Business School, Melbourne University, Stanford University, and New York University. She is the President of the Economic Society of Australia.

The Commission is Chaired by Danielle Wood who commenced her five-year term on 13 November 2023.

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