The Essential Services Commission comprises one commissioner appointed as the Chairperson and such number of full-time and part-time additional commissioners as the Minister considers necessary to enable the Commission to perform its functions.
The current Chairperson is Dr Ron Ben-David, who took up the position in early 2009.The Commission is supported by about 70 staff, led by a Chief Executive Officer, Mr David Heeps, and an executive team comprising four Directors who oversee each of the key areas of the Commission's regulatory and corporate work.
The Commission’s regulatory and analytical staff is qualified in economics, accounting, engineering and other analytical disciplines. In addition to its staff, the Commission is also supported on an as-needs basis by specialist contractors and consultants experienced in providing analysis and advice on technical and economic regulatory matters.
Dr Ron Ben-David - Chairperson
Ron Ben-David joined the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance in 1998. This was followed by a number of years in the Department of Premier and Cabinet, where he became a Deputy Secretary in 2004. In 2007, he established Victoria’s Office of Climate Change and then headed the Secretariat for the Garnaut Climate Change Review. He has served as Chairperson of the Essential Services Commission of Victoria since late 2008. Dr Ben-David has written and presented on a wide range of issues including: governance and regulation in the water industry, retail energy markets, climate change, sustainability, federalism, local government, taxi reform and economic philosophy. He holds a B. Science (Optom), B. Comm (Hons) and Ph.D (Economics). In 2005, Dr Ben-David became a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration (Vic). He is a member of numerous advisory councils.
Dennis Cavagna - Commissioner
Dennis Cavagna was appointed Commissioner in November 2007. Mr Cavagna was previously Managing Director of Melbourne water retailer, South East Water, for six years and has more than 24 years' experience in the water sector. Prior to joining the water industry, Mr Cavagna spent 12 years with Telecom Australia (now Telstra) in a range of financial and information technology positions and six years in the accounting profession. He is a qualified chartered accountant. Mr Cavagna is also a former chairman of the Victorian Water Industry Association. He is a member of the Risk and Audit Committee of the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment and board member of Queensland Urban Utilities and Parks Victoria.
Mary Anne Hartley SC - Commissioner
Mary Anne Hartley was appointed Commissioner in October 2011. Ms Hartley is a practising barrister, admitted to the legal profession in 1984 and appointed a Senior Counsel in 2009. She has served as a Director of Melbourne Water, the Victorian Channels Authority, Gascor Ltd, the Port of Melbourne Corporation and Monash Gallery of Art. Before joining the Victorian Bar, Ms Hartley was a partner in a national law firm, where she advised public hospitals and practised insurance and shipping law. She holds a BA (Hons) and LL.B (Hons) and is an accredited mediator.