Australian Farm Institute executive director, Mick Keogh, is taking a bigger – and full-time – role at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, becoming one of the competition watchdog’s deputy commissioners.
Mr Keogh, who joined the ACCC two years ago in a newly-created agriculture commissioner’s role, becomes a deputy chairman for five years from May 30.
He will oversee the ACCC’s small business work in addition to his current job leading its agriculture work.
His current part-time position becomes a full-time job, alongside other deputy chair, Delia Rickard.
The Australian Farm Institute is yet to comment on how it will manage Mr Keogh’s new appointment and what role he will continue to play at the institute, which he founded.
Mick’s vast experience working with small businesses in the agriculture sector will greatly assist him in his new role
ACCC chairman, Rod Sims, has welcomed the appointment by Treasurer, Scott Morrison, who also reappointed Cristina Cifuentes and Sarah Court as commissioners for a further five years.
“Mick’s vast experience working with small businesses in the agriculture sector will greatly assist him in his new role working with small business right across the economy,” Mr Sims said.
“I look forward to working closely with him as deputy chair,” Mr Sims said.
Mr Morrison described Mr Keogh as having “a strong understanding” of the competition issues affecting small businesses, particularly from his personal experience running a small business as the manager of a family beef cattle enterprise.
“He has received the Order of Australia Medal for services to agriculture and will continue to perform his agriculture responsibilities in addition to his new role at the ACCC,” he said.
Farm industry specialist
Mr Keogh, a widely respected farm sector identity, has led the farm institute since it was set up in 2003 to conduct background research into key issues facing Australian agriculture, and to promote the outcomes to policy-makers and the wider community.
The AFI, funded by farmer orgainisations and agribusiness, was founded to effectively help the farm sector take responsibility for its own future directions.
It conducts objective and credible policy research for the industry, rather than relying on governments, policy-makers, special interest groups and commentators to come up with solutions.
Mr Keogh replaces current deputy chairman, Dr Michael Schaper, who departs on May 30 after a decade with the ACCC.
“Michael has been an invaluable advocate for small businesses and franchises throughout his service, and his passion, tenacity and advocacy will be greatly missed,” Mr Sims said.
He also welcomed Ms Cifuentes’ reappointment, saying she brought the commission a deep knowledge, in particular, across the infrastructure, banking and energy sectors.
He said Ms Court’s reappointment was testament to her dedication and effectiveness for 10 years on many issues, including enforcement activities in areas such as mergers, financial services and agriculture.
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