For the first time, a woman has been appointed Energy and Water Ombudsman for Queensland.
Jane Pires starts her three-year contract in early December, according to Minister for Energy, Biofuels and Water Supply Mark Bailey.
“This a truly significant appointment and the Palaszczuk Government welcomes Jane Pires as the first woman to fill this important role,” Mr Bailey said.
“Ms Pires was appointed following a competitive national selection process that attracted a high-quality field of over 60 applicants. She was an exceptional applicant.”
Ms Pires replaces Forbes Smith who moved on to be the Chief Executive of the Crime and Corruption Commission.
Mr Bailey said Ms Pires and brought significant knowledge and complaint management experience to the Ombudsman’s position.
“Ms Pires has more than 25 years’ experience in customer service, complaint management and dispute resolution and has most recently been the Executive Manager for Group Customer Relations for Suncorp,” Mr Bailey said.
“Ms Pires has demonstrated extensive senior executive experience in dispute resolution, a highly professional approach to dispute resolution and an ability to grasp complex technical issues.
“Ms Pires has also been on the Board of the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals Australia for 10 years, including serving three terms as President and is the current Vice President.”
The EWOQ is a free, fair, independent and confidential dispute resolution service for Queenslanders who are unable to resolve a complaint with their electricity or gas supplier and also provides this service for water supply customers in south east Queensland.
“Since its inception in 2007, more than 107,000 customer cases have been resolved by EWOQ,” Mr Bailey said.
“With offices in Brisbane, Rockhampton and Cairns, EWOQ works directly with customers and their supplier to investigate and resolve complaints.
“EWOQ is supported by an Advisory Council which provides expert advice to the Energy and Water Ombudsman, and to me as Minister, on the effective and efficient conduct and operation of the EWOQ scheme.”