Energy Futures: Whither Australian energy policy over the next 3 years?


Carrillo Gantner Theatre,
Sidney Myer Asia Centre,
University of Melbourne,
Swanston St, Parkville, VIC 3052


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Louise Baker

T: +61 3 8344 0121

The re-election of the Morrison Government federally has strengthened its resolve to implement its energy policies. Previously proposed abatement targets, ‘big stick’ legislation and generation underwriting are all being progressed. Only 6 months earlier, however, the Andrews Government was re-elected in Victoria with a very different set of policies. Other states are also progressing their own plans, and both the Morrison and Andrews Governments are scheduled to have their next elections in 2022.

What will happen over the next 3 years? Will Commonwealth and State members of the COAG Energy Council continue fighting? Will energy prices, emissions and system security deteriorate as a result? Or will compromise and consensus start to appear?

Join our panel of experts, including Rachel Watson, Anna Collyer, Michael Brear and moderator Tony Wood, to throw light on these questions in the next of our Energy Futures series of public policy forums.

Ms. Rachel Watson, Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Hydro
Ms. Anna Collyer, Partner and Head of Innovation, Allens
Prof. Michael Brear, Director Melbourne Energy Institute and Professor of Engineering, The University of Melbourne

Mr. Tony Wood, Energy Program Director, Grattan Institute

Information about the speakers


Tony Wood, Energy Program Director, Grattan Institute

Tony Wood has been Energy Program Director at Grattan since 2011 after 14 years working at Origin Energy in senior executive roles. From 2009 to 2014 he was also Program Director of Clean Energy Projects at the Clinton Foundation, advising governments in the Asia-Pacific region on effective deployment of large-scale, low-emission energy technologies. In 2008, he was seconded to provide an industry perspective to the first Garnaut climate change review.


Rachel Watson, Chief Executive Officer of PHPL and Chief Operating Officer, Corporate Office

In August 2018, Rachel Watson was appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer of PHPL and Chief Operating Officer, Corporate Office for the Pacific Hydro group, with responsibility for the company’s businesses in Australia, Chile and Brazil.

Rachel joined Pacific Hydro in April 2006 as Corporate Lawyer.  She has held a range of roles within Pacific Hydro, including Executive Manager Finance and Legal, Head of Commercial and GM Group Services.

Prior to joining Pacific Hydro, Rachel worked as in-house counsel in Sydney and Melbourne for Orica Ltd, and spent three years in Japan working for a major turbine supplier. She has over 20 years’ experience in major contracting transactions and other general commercial law issues.

Rachel has been a director of the Clean Energy Council since 2014 and she currently chairs the Board of the CEC.

Anna Collyer, Partner and Head of Innovation, Allens

As a Partner and Head of Innovation, Anna Collyer practices in the energy sector, while overseeing Allens' multi-disciplinary approach to innovation.

Anna has more than 20 years' experience in the energy sector. Her practice covers a broad range of work for government, industry participants and key market institutions, and has included significant privatisations, mergers and acquisitions, and project development, particularly in renewables. Anna has, too, worked extensively in industry reform, including with the COAG Energy Council and Australian Energy Markets Commission. Her reform work also spans the transport and water sectors.

In her role as Head of Innovation, Anna leads a team that fosters innovation at all levels of the firm, not only in technological developments but in new ways of working and addressing disruption. Anna drives the Allens approach to innovation, encouraging multi-disciplinary teams to collaborate with clients to ensure that each solution is tailored to the client's specific needs, based on intimate understanding of their business.

Anna is a member of Allens' executive committee. She has previously held roles as a Practice Leader for Energy, Resources & Infrastructure, and served on the firm's Board.

Professor Michael Brear, Director Melbourne Energy Institute and Professor of Engineering, The University of Melbourne

Prof. Michael Brear is the Director of the Melbourne Energy Institute at the University of Melbourne. His own research and consulting are with industry and government on the technical, economic and environmental analysis of transport and energy systems; the combustion of conventional and alternative fuels; and stationary and mobile powerplant featuring engines, turbines, energy storage and renewables. Michael is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, Engineers Australia and the Australian Institute of Energy. He previously established the University of Melbourne’s multi-disciplinary degree, the Master of Energy Systems. Prior to commencing at the University, Michael worked for ICI Australia (now Orica), then undertook graduate studies at Cambridge University and post-doctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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