About Us

About the Independent Accountability Panel

The Energy Charter is a statement about energy businesses putting the customer at the centre of their businesses and delivering better outcomes for them. Each year the energy companies that are signatories to the Energy Charter are required to provide an annual disclosure that demonstrates how they are achieving the Principles in the Energy Charter. The Energy Charter Independent Accountability Panel was established in June 2019. The Panel’s role is to review these annual disclosures against the principles of the Energy Charter.

A key part of the Panel’s evaluation is its public consultation process. The Panel is keen to hear from household and business customers about how the Energy Charter signatories are performing for their customers and what would deliver better outcomes for all customers. The Panel accepts written submissions each year about the disclosures as well as conducting public forums in October.

The Panel publishes an annual report (end November) that brings an independent perspective on how the Energy Charter signatories are serving the needs of households and businesses. It also holds the Energy Charter signatories accountable for the promises they have made to their customers and the community. Finally, the Panel’s report also makes recommendations on how the Energy Charter signatories may improve performance against the principles of the Energy Charter.

Our Panel

Wendy-Craik

Wendy Craik AM

Panel Chair

Dr Craik has over 25 years experience in senior roles in public policy. She has held many senior positions including Commissioner at the Productivity Commission, Chief Executive of the Murray-Darling Basin Commission (MDBC), President of the National Competition Council (NCC), Chair of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), Executive Director of National Farmers Federation (NFF) and Executive Officer of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA). She has been a director on a number of boards. She is currently a board member of the Reserve Bank, Chair of the Climate Change Authority, Chair of the Steering Committee for the 10 year program for the Eradication of Red Imported Fire Ants, and a Director of the Australian Farm Institute. Wendy was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia in 2007 for service to the natural resource sector of the economy, particularly in the areas of fisheries, marine ecology and management of water reform, and for contributions to policies affecting rural and regional Australia.

Andrew-Richards

Andrew Richards

Panel Member - Commercial and Industrial end-user representative

Andrew has over 30 years of energy industry and infrastructure development experience having held a variety of senior management roles in the areas of sales and marketing, public and stakeholder relations, media and communications, strategic planning, policy development, stakeholder engagement and political advocacy. For the last 3 years he has been Chief Executive Officer of the Energy Users Association of Australia (EUAA). The EUAA is the peak national body representing Australian commercial and industrial electricity and gas users. EUAA membership covers a broad cross-section of the Australian economy including significant retail, manufacturing, mining, materials and food processing industries. Under his leadership the EUAA has positioned itself as a highly respected thought leader and advisor to energy industry players, regulators and governments and is recognised by these stakeholders as a strong advocate for energy users. With significant experience in energy policy, political advocacy and stakeholder engagement Andrew continues to play a key role in a range of forums including the AEMO Expert Panel, the Federal Government Energy Industry Roundtable, the AER Value of Customer Reliability Consultative Committee and the recently formed National Hydrogen Strategy Taskforce Stakeholder Advisory Panel. Andrew is also deeply involved in ongoing engagement on behalf of energy users with the ACCC, AEMC, ESB, COAG Energy Council, AER and via numerous industry related customer reference groups.

Cassandra-Goldie

Cassandra Goldie

Panel Member - Consumer representative

Cassandra Goldie is CEO of the Australian Council of Social Service, the national peak body for the community sector, and an advocate for tackling poverty and inequality. She has deep public policy expertise in economic and social issues, civil society, social justice and human rights and is a regular media and public commentator and conference presenter. Prior to joining ACOSS, Cassandra held senior roles in both the not-for-profit and public sectors at local, national and international level, including with the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Darwin Community Legal Service, Legal Aid Western Australia, and the global Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions. Cassandra is Adjunct Professor with the Law Faculty at the University of New South Wales. She has a PhD from University of New South Wales and a Masters of Law from University College London. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She serves on the Advisory Committee for the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, the UNSW Law Advisory Committee, the Australian Climate Roundtable, the Pinnacle Foundation Board and the Management Committee of the International Council of Social Welfare.

Phil-Weickhardt

Phil Weickhardt

Panel Member - Industry representative

Philip Weickhardt was CEO & Managing Director of Orica Limited (previously ICI Australia Limited) from 1997 until 2001. Orica is a publicly listed company and is Australia’s largest chemical company and the world’s largest commercial explosives company, with operations in more than 50 countries. Mr Weickhardt was appointed an Executive Director of ICI Australia in 1994 and was a Director and then Chairman of Incitec Ltd and ICI NZ Limited between 1994 and 1998. After joining ICI PLC in the UK in 1971, Mr Weickhardt worked in a variety of research, production and project management roles in the UK until 1978 when he transferred to ICI Australia. In Australia he gained wide experience in both established and start up business management roles. Mr. Weickhardt was a Commissioner with the Productivity Commission (an independent policy advisory arm of the Federal Government) from 2004 to 2014. He was Chair of Earthwatch Institute, a not for profit organisation which contributes to scientific research on conservation and environmental issues from 2002 to 2011, and Chair of Pilotlight Australia (now Igniting Change), a small not for profit organisation active in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility, from 2003 to 2009. He was a member of an Advisory Board for Anglo American in Australia (2006-2010), and a member of the Board of the Cooperative Research Centre for Molecular Plant Breeding (2003-2011). He taught in the Executive Education area for Mt Eliza Business School and the Melbourne Business School (2002-2010). Married to Tricia with three sons, Philip Weickhardt, 71, has a Master of Science (Physical Chemistry) from Melbourne University, is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and was a member of the Business Council of Australia and Chairman of its Energy Reform Task Force from 1997 to 2001. In 1990 Mr Weickhardt completed the Advanced Management Programme at the Harvard Business School. Mr Weickhardt’s interests include education, travel, the arts, bushwalking, skiing, tennis and golf.

Panel Expert

David-Heard

David Heard

Panel Expert

David is an energy and finance professional, with 26 years’ experience spanning Australia, Europe and Asia. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical & Electronic) with first-class honours, a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance & Investment, and an MBA from IESE Business School in Barcelona. Within the energy sector, he has worked directly for Shell, as an investor in both assets and listed companies, and as an advisor, research analyst, trader and financier with Macquarie Group, Schroder Investment Management, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Royal Bank of Scotland. He has led sales and structuring teams, held regional P&L responsibility and introduced new energy business capabilities. David co-founded Finncorn Consulting in 2015, advising a broad range of energy companies, regulators and advocates on matters including revenue and capital advisory for utility-scale solar development, market entry strategy for international utilities, energy infrastructure strategy for the low-carbon transition, and the structure, conduct and performance of retail energy markets. He has contributed to key policy and regulatory debates including the Thwaites Review in Victoria, the ACCC Inquiry and several of its recommendations (including the Underwriting New Generation Investment policy), the development of the NEG and successor RRO, and broad support to Energy Consumers Australia on policy and regulatory matters from his commercial and financial perspectives. David is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and serves as a non-executive Director on two health and community services Boards, and their associated Finance, Audit and Risk Committees.