Professor Allan Fels AO and Professor David Cousins AM , were appointed as Monitor and Deputy Monitor respectively. Both Professors Fels and Cousins have significant experience in the area of consumer protection, and performed similar roles during the Victorian transition.
Professor Fels was the inaugural Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. He is the current chair of the Australian Government Migrant Workers’ Taskforce and is a Professor at Melbourne University.
Professor Cousins is an economist and Adjunct Professor at Monash University. He is a former Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria.
Meet the Monitors
Professor Allan Fels is former Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (1995-2003). Prior to that he was Chair of its predecessor body, the Trade Practices Commission (1991-1995) and of the Prices Surveillance Authority (1989-1992). He has served in numerous other regulatory positions including as Prices Commissioner, Victoria (1982-1991), Member of the Prices Surveillance Authority (1984-1989), and Member of the Prices Justification Tribunal (1973-1980).
At the international level, Professor Fels was Co-chair of the OECD Trade and Competition Committee (1996-2003) and a member of the Bureau of the OECD Competition Committee (1991-2003). He is also a founding member of the International Competition Network.
Professor Fels takes part in numerous national and state enquiries, for example as an Associate Commissioner of the Productivity Commission (2009-2010) in its enquiry into executive pay, as Chair of the Victorian Government Taxi Industry Inquiry (2011-2013), and as Commissioner, Fire Services Levy Monitor, Victoria (2012-2014).
He is currently a professorial fellow in the University of Melbourne, both in the Melbourne Law School and in the Faculty of Economics and Business, an adjunct professor at Monash University in the Faculty of Business and Economics, and visiting professor at the Division of Social Sciences in the University of Oxford.
Professor Fels is former Dean of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG), a position he occupied from 2003 (as Foundation Dean) until 2012. He continues to direct China programs for that school. These include the China Advanced Leadership Program (CALP). This is a three week-program in Australia and New Zealand for top leaders from China at the level of Vice-Minister, Director General from the Central Government, Party Secretary, Mayor from cities and Director General from the Organization Bureau of the Communist Party of China. There is also the China Reciprocal Program (CRP) under which 25 Department Heads and Deputy Heads from Australia and New Zealand are hosted by the Chinese Communist Party for two weeks. Both programs are done in partnership between ANZSOG and the Organization Department of the Chinese Communist Party.
He is an editor of the China Competition Bulletin. He is also a Director of the Chinese Competition Research Centre at the University of the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS) as well as an international adviser to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).
Professor Fels was also heavily involved in the thirteen year-process of drafting China’s Antimonopoly Law, 2008 and he subsequently advised the Chinese antimonopoly bodies on the application of the law.
He is the author of numerous publications in the field of competition law and policy, and is the subject of a biography by Fred Brenchley, “Allan Fels: A Portrait of Power” (published by John Wiley in 2003 and in Chinese by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in 2014).
He is Chair of the Visy Australasia Governance Board (Australia’s largest private business) and of the Australian National Mental Health Commission.
He is a member of the Global Public Advisory Board of Uber.
He was Chair of the Fels Wage Fairness Panel from September 2015 until May 2016. The Coalition Government nominated him to supervise the Fair Work Ombudsman's Migrant Workers Taskforce.
David graduated from Monash University where he completed Bachelor of Economics (Hons.) and Master of Economics degrees. He completed his Doctor of Philosophy degree at Manchester University in the UK.
He was Director of Research with the Victorian Parliament’s Economic and Budget Review Committee (1987-88) before joining the State Electricity Commission of Victoria as Senior Economist (1989). He was a Member of the Australian Prices Surveillance Authority for six years (1989-95), the latter three years also as its Chairman. He was a Director with KPMG Management Consultancy (1995-98) before being appointed a Commissioner with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (1999-2002) and after this Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria (2002-2008).
In 2009 David was appointed a member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his contribution to consumer policy and its administration in Australia.
He has subsequently been appointed to a number of statutory positions in Victoria including Member of the State Services Authority (2008-2011), Commissioner Taxi Industry Commission (2011-2013) and Deputy Fire Services Insurance Levy Monitor (2012-2014).
David is a member of several not-for-profit organisations connected to the Uniting Church.