Australian Government coat of arms

Prime Minister of Australia

The Hon Tony Abbott MP

Prime Minister's Business Advisory Council

04 December 2013

Prime Minister

The Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council will bring together 12 prominent Australian and global business leaders and experts to help restore a strong working relationship between business and government.

A strong economy needs profitable and dynamic businesses to generate jobs and revenue to fund the provision of services and infrastructure.

The Council brings together leaders from the manufacturing, resources, logistics, retail, financial and construction sectors. It will meet three times a year with senior members of the Government.

The Council’s advice will help guide programmes and policies that are sympathetic to the needs of both small and large businesses in Australia.

The Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council, Mr Maurice Newman AC, will be joined by:

  • Professor Gary Banks AO – Dean and CEO of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government.
  • Mr Michael Chaney AO – Chairman, National Australia Bank and Chancellor of the University of Western Australia.
  • Mr Peter Fox AM – Executive Chairman of Fox Group Holdings and Linfox Pty Ltd.
  • Mr Daniel Grollo – Chief Executive Officer, Grocon.
  • Mr John Hart – Chief Executive Officer, Restaurant and Catering Australia.
  • Mr Barry Irvin AM – Chairman, Bega Cheese.
  • Mr Graham Kraehe – Chairman, BlueScope Steel and Brambles.
  • Mr Solomon Lew – Chairman and Non-Executive Director, Premier Investments.
  • Ms Catherine Livingstone AO – Chairman, Telstra.
  • Mr Jacques Nasser AO – Chairman, BHP Billiton.
  • Dr Jane Wilson – Director and former Chairman of a wide array of companies across the health, biotechnology, agriculture and energy sectors.

The Council will meet three times a year and the first meeting of the Council will be held before the end of the year.

4 December 2013


Mr Maurice Newman AC

Mr Newman is currently Chairman of Melon Pastoral Pty Ltd, Macquarie University Foundation; Director, Queensland Investment Corporation; Advisor to the MMC Group of Companies and Patron of CEDA. Mr Newman retired as Chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in December 2011 and retired as Chairman of the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX Limited) in September 2008. He served as Chancellor of Macquarie University from 2002 to 2008. Mr Newman has been an adviser to Australian governments, state and federal, and has chaired a number of Asian business alliances.

Professor Gary Banks AO

Professor Gary Banks is currently Dean and CEO of ANZSOG and Independent Director on the Macquarie Group Board. Professor Banks was previously Chairman of the Productivity Commission from its inception in 1998. He has worked extensively in the public sector, including chairing the COAG Steering Committee for the Review of Government Services and overseeing the Commonwealth’s regulation-making processes. Prior to joining the Productivity Commission, he worked for the Centre for International Economics in Canberra and consulted to the OECD and the World Bank. He was previously a Senior Economist with the GATT Secretariat in Geneva and a Visiting Fellow at the Trade Policy Research Centre in London. Professor Banks holds degrees in economics from Monash University and the Australian National University.

Mr Michael Chaney AO

Mr Chaney is the Chancellor of the University of Western Australia, a member of the JP Morgan International Council and a Director of the Centre for Independent Studies.  Michael Chaney has been Chairman for NAB since September 2005 and a Non-Executive Director since December 2004. Mr Chaney’s skills and experience include over 27 years of experience in a range of industries in executive, financial management and governance roles including Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Wesfarmers Limited from 1992 until July 2005. Mr Chaney graduated with Bachelor of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Western Australia in 1972 and 1980 respectively. He completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School in 1992 and has also been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from The University of Western Australia.

Mr Peter Fox AM

Mr Fox is the Executive Chairman of Fox Group Holdings, Executive Chairman of Linfox Pty Ltd and Executive Chairman of Armaguard. Mr Fox worked at Mayne Nickless as a trainee cadet, before joining Linfox in Brisbane, as a Trainee Supervisor. He held a wide range of roles across the Linfox business in operational and management positions before his appointment as Executive Chairman in 1994.

Mr Daniel Grollo

Mr Grollo is Chief Executive Officer of Grocon, Australia’s largest private property investment, development and construction company. He was appointed CEO in 2000, having previously held a number of leadership positions across the company. He has also been an Executive Director and member of the Grocon Board for 14 years.Mr Grollo has held a number of national leadership roles over the last decade including former President of the Property Council of Australia, Chair and founding member of the Green Building Council of Australia and non-executive director of BlueScope Steel.

Mr John Hart

Mr Hart has spent 27 years working in the hospitality industry, trained in food and beverage management at the Ecole Hotelliere Lausanne in Switzerland, and in educational administration at the University of South Queensland. Mr Hart is the Chairman of the National Tourism Alliance, the Service Industry Skills Council and the Tourism and Hospitality Industry Advisory Council. He is also on the Board of the National Centre for Vocational Education Research and the Tourism Quality Council.

Mr Barry Irvin AM

Mr Irvin has extensive experience in the dairy industry and has been Chairman of Bega Cheese since 2000. His depth of knowledge of the industry includes a significant understanding of the issues affecting Australian dairy farmers, the key investments required to meet changing consumer needs, and the management of long term customer relationships.

Mr Graham Kraehe

Mr Graham Kraehe is Chairman of BlueScope Steel, Chairman of Brambles and a Director of Djerriwarrh Investments. He was previously RBA Board member, Chairman of National Australia Bank and a Director of News Corporation. Mr Kraehe's executive career spanned 30 years as CEO of a number of businesses in the diversified industrial and wine sectors including Pacific BBA and Southcorp. He has an extensive background in manufacturing. He has had many business and community roles including national President of the Australian Industry Group and Chairman of the Future Directions Forum.

Mr Solomon Lew

Mr Lew was appointed a non-executive director and Chairman of Premier in 2008. For many years, Mr Lew has been a director of Century Plaza Investments Pty. Ltd., the largest shareholder in Premier and was previously Chairman of Premier from 1987 to 1994. Mr. Lew has over 40 years’ experience in the manufacture, importation, wholesaling and retailing of textiles, apparel and general merchandise.

Ms Catherine Livingstone AO

Ms Livingstone has been a non-executive Director of Telstra since November 2000, was appointed as Chairman in May 2009 and last re-elected in 2011. She is the Chairman of the Nomination Committee, a member of the Audit and Remuneration Committees and served on the Technology Committee. Ms Livingstone is a Chartered Accountant and has held several finance and general management roles primarily in the medical devices sector. Ms Livingstone was the Chief Executive of Cochlear Limited from 1994 to 2000. She was Chairman of CSIRO from 2001 to 2006 and has also served on the boards of Goodman Fielder Limited and Rural Press Limited. In 2008, Ms Livingstone was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for service to the development of Australian science, technology and innovation policies to the business sector.

Mr Jacques Nasser AO

Mr Nasser has been a Director of BHP Billiton Limited and BHP Billiton Plc since June 2006. He was appointed Chairman on 31 March 2010. Following a 33-year career with Ford Motor Company in various leadership positions in Europe, Australia, Asia, South America and the United States, he served as a member of the Board of Directors and as President and Chief Executive Officer of Ford Motor Company from 1998 to 2001. He has more than three decades of experience in large-scale global businesses and a decade of private equity investment and operating expertise.

Dr Jane Wilson

Dr Wilson has a background in medicine, finance, banking and consulting, plus experience in the commercialisation of research in the agricultural/biotechnology sectors. She has a Masters degree in Business Administration from Harvard Business School; was Chairman of IMBcom; Director of CathRx Ltd, UQ Holdings Ltd, Universal Biosensors Inc and Union College; Finance Director of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust; and member of the Premier's Smart State Council and University of Queensland Senate.