New Head for Food Standards Australia New Zealand Board

A former Commonwealth Ombudsman, Philippa Smith AM, has been appointed as Chair of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) board. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing, Senator Jan McLucas, said today Ms Smith would take up the position for four years.

“In agreement with the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Philippa Smith AM as the new Chair of the FSANZ board,” Senator McLucas said.

“Ms Smith has had a high-profile career covering wide-ranging roles including those of Commonwealth Ombudsman, and Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia.

“She has a strong governance, accountability and ethics background, which complements her continued involvement at a high level in federal and state health bodies representing health consumer and general consumer issues.

“This background will bring further diversity and expertise to the FSANZ Board.”

Senator McLucas also announced that former New Zealand member of Parliament Dianne Yates had been appointed as a new member of the FSANZ board for four years. Senator McLucas said Ms Yates had extensive experience across issues of international trade, health and consumer affairs.

“Ms Yates has vast experience in government and in voluntary sector governance,” Senator McLucas said.

“She was, until very recently, Chair of the New Zealand Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade Select Committee, Chair of the Education and Science Select Committee, and was a member of the Health Select Committee.

“Ms Yates has a firm grasp of current debates in science demonstrated through her Human Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill, a scientifically detailed Private Member's Bill introduced and passed through the New Zealand Parliament,” Senator McLucas said.

“The new board represents an excellent mix of experience with top people in their fields of expertise.

“This is an exceptionally strong board, which will continue to move us forward in food regulation in Australia and New Zealand.

“ It will also maintain the strong representation of public health, food science and technology, human nutrition, international trade and consumer issues on the FSANZ Board.”

Senator McLucas took the opportunity to thank the retiring board members for their hard work over the years.

“Rob Knowles and Owen Symmans both made major contributions to food standards in Australia and New Zealand,” Senator McLucas said.

Mr Knowles and Mr Symmans have been on the board of FSANZ since its establishment in July 2002. Senator McLucas commended Mr Knowles’ leadership as the inaugural Chair of the board.

“Mr Knowles was instrumental in establishing the operation of the board,” Senator McLucas said.

“As Chair for six years, Mr Knowles is to be commended for his significant contribution to changes in the food regulatory system, especially with the implementation of the Council of Australian Government’s reforms.”

As a board member for two terms, Mr Symmans’ contribution has also been significant.

“His experience and knowledge of primary industry, having worked for Federated Farmers of New Zealand, the government and the dairy and meat industries, has been of great assistance, particularly during the initial phase of the new food regulatory regime,” Senator McLucas said.

FSANZ is the food regulatory authority in Australia and New Zealand. It develops food standards for both countries on behalf of the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council, under the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991. Food standards are developed to protect the public and to provide information to consumers as well as supporting industry.

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