One Step Closer to Merged Regulator

The creation of Australia’s new media and telecommunications regulator is a step closer, with acting ABA chief, Lyn Maddock, being appointed to the Board of the Australian Communications Authority.

Communications Minister, Helen Coonan, has announced Maddock will become a part time Associate Member, replacing Michael Gordon-Smith, whose ABA term expired in September.

Senator Coonan says the appointment will improve information sharing between the ACA and ABA in the lead up to the merger of the two bodies to form the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), expected to take place on or before 1 July 2005.

“For the first time, the chairpersons of the ACA and ABA are both Associate Members of the other authority.

“This will be particularly useful in the lead up to the formation of the ACMA. It will ensure the skills and experience of the head of the ABA are reflected in ACA decisions and that there is a high level of coordination in the decision making of these two bodies as they work towards the merger.

“I congratulate Lyn Maddock on her appointment and wish her well in her dual role with the ACA and ABA.”

Maddock’s appointment as ACA Associate Member expires on 30 June 2005 or earlier, depending on her continuing membership of the ABA and the date on which the ACMA is established.

Maddock was appointed Deputy of the ABA in December 2000, before taking over from Professor David Flint in an acting capacity in June this year.

Speculation continues over just who will head the new ACMA. The position is expected to be hotly contested, with former Telstra chief, Bob Mansfield, considered by many as a frontrunner.