The Australian Energy Regulator today announced the appointment of Ms Shirli Kirschner as the National Electricity Market Dispute Resolution Adviser.
Ms Kirschner, of Resolve Advisors, has performed the role of National Electricity Market Dispute Resolution Adviser since 2001. The AER has appointed Ms Kirschner for a period of two years.
"Ms Kirschner has substantial experience of alternative dispute resolution, and an excellent understanding of the needs of the electricity industry", AER Chairman, Mr Steve Edwell said. "She is well placed to ensure that alternative dispute resolution operates effectively in the National Electricity Market".
The Dispute Resolution Adviser's role is to ensure that the National Electricity Market dispute resolution processes operate effectively. The NEM dispute resolution regime has been developed to be simple, quick and inexpensive, and to preserve relationships between industry participants while observing the rules of natural justice.
"The NEM dispute resolution regime provides procedures to resolve disputes between parties. Any enforcement action for breach of the market rules may only be taken by the AER", Mr Edwell said. "The electricity industry as a whole will benefit from the swift and efficient resolution of any disputes".
Under clause 8.2.2 of the National Electricity Rules, the AER must appoint a person or persons from time to time to perform the functions of the Dispute Resolution Adviser. The Dispute Resolution Adviser's role is to ensure the effective operation of the NEM dispute resolution regime.
When disputes arise, the National Electricity Rules prescribe a two stage process for ADR. Stage 1 involves an internal, consensual dispute resolution process within the disputants' organisations. If the dispute is not resolved, the process moves to Stage 2, which involves either the parties agreeing to the Adviser , in consultation with the parties, customising a process to suit the dispute, or, in the absence of agreement, the Adviser referring the dispute to a dispute resolution panel.