Joint Media Release: Dr Iain Ross announced as acting Chair of Net Zero Economy Agency

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP, Prime Minister

The Hon Chris Bowen MP, Minister for Climate Change and Energy

Dr Iain Ross AO has been appointed as the acting Chair of the Net Zero Economy Agency, replacing outgoing Chair Mr Greg Combet.

Dr Ross will take up the position on 1 June 2024, with the Government to appoint Dr Ross as the inaugural Chair of the Net Zero Economy Authority once legislation to establish the Authority passes the Parliament.

The Government extends its gratitude to Mr Combet for his leadership and commitment in setting up the Net Zero Economy Agency.

Dr Ross brings with him a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of labour markets and economics.

He has served as a former President of the Fair Work Commission and as a Judge of the Federal Court and the Supreme Court of Victoria. His career experience 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.

As Chair of the Authority, Dr Ross will be supported by an independent Board, with members to be appointed following legislation passing the Parliament. An open recruitment process for the CEO of the Authority will be advertised in June.

In the 2024-25 Budget, the Government provided an additional $209.3 million for the work of the Authority. It will support Australia’s economy-wide net zero transformation by acting as a catalyst for private and public investment, major project development, employment transition, skills and community development.

Global efforts to reduce emissions have already started transforming traditional industries, creating new opportunities to broaden Australia’s industrial base and strengthen our sovereign capability.

The Albanese Government is already delivering a strong policy agenda to reduce emissions by 43 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero by 2050.

This Authority will be pivotal to delivering this goal and promoting an orderly and positive economic transformation as the world decarbonises.

Quotes attributable to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese:

“There is no nation on earth better placed than Australia to achieve the energy transition here at home and power it in the world.

“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.

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

Quotes attributable to Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen:

“The appointment of Dr Ross to the NZEA is a significant step in steering Australia towards a net zero future. His vast experiences will be invaluable in this transformative journey.

“We are on the cusp of one of the biggest economic shifts since the Industrial Revolution, and I’m confident Dr Ross will play a critical role in helping Australia seize the opportunities of the transformation to becoming a renewable energy superpower.”

Quotes attributable to outgoing NZEA Chair Mr Greg Combet AM:

“Reflecting on my tenure as Chair of the Net Zero Economy Agency, I am filled with immense pride and gratitude. We have made significant strides in advancing Australia’s net zero initiatives, laying a solid foundation for a sustainable future. It has been an honour to lead a team of dedicated individuals committed to this cause.

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

Quotes attributable to the newly appointed NZEA Chair Dr Iain Ross AO:

“I am honoured to take on the role. This is a pivotal moment in our history, as we steer the nation on the road of transformation 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. 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.

“I am committed to leveraging my experiences to guide this transformation. Together, we will navigate the net zero revolution, ensuring a prosperous and sustainable future for all Australians.”