A senior New South Wales home affairs ministry official has slammed an industry-backed commercial affairs specialist who she said was “incompete and incompetent”.
Commercial Affairs Manager Peter Cogswell has been working at the department for more than 10 years and was promoted to commercial affairs minister last year, replacing Minister for Industry, Energy and Mineral Resources David Chaytor.
Commercial Affairs Director Peter Cotter has also been a part of the department’s portfolio.
“It’s unfortunate that this person was appointed to the portfolio, because the minister for industry, energy and mineral resources, David Chayster, is a competent commercial affairs professional who will do the right thing and do the job,” Ms Cotters spokeswoman said.
Ms Cotting said she had been “very impressed” with Mr Cogspell’s work in recent years and the minister had been working in the portfolio for a number of years.
“He’s an excellent person who’s worked at the Ministry of Industry, he’s an effective minister and we all need a strong, competent commercial advisor to do our job,” she said.
The minister has also appointed a deputy commercial affairs officer, who is responsible for overseeing the department.
“That deputy commercial advisor has been very effective in ensuring that the Minister for Energy and Mines and Energy Minister David Chares have a strong commercial affairs department,” Ms Kavanagh said.
Commercial affairs director for South Australia Mr Cotts office is in South Australia, which is home to one of the largest numbers of people employed by the state’s electricity network, the South Australian Electricity Market Authority (SAEMPA).
The SAEMPA is the federal government’s energy regulator and has been tasked with overseeing SA’s electricity markets.
Mr Cotstell is also a member of SAEMSA’s Advisory Committee on Power Delivery and has a special role in managing SA’s supply chain for the SA Power Networks and the South Australia Power Networks.
“His ability to advise the minister and his experience as a commercial affairs director, combined with the expertise and experience he has in the commercial affairs field, makes him an ideal appointment,” Ms Molan said.
Mr Chayts portfolio portfolio includes the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the National Broadband Network and the National Infrastructure Commission.
The SA government is also set to introduce legislation in the Parliament this month that would give it the power to compel internet service providers to block access to a specific website.