Commission Members

Appointment of Commission Members

The Commission’s governing board consists of four non-executive members made up of the Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and two ordinary members. The Commission’s Chief Executive Officer is also a member of the governing board. Non-executive Board members’ appointments are approved by the Minister for Racing and Gaming. The Standing Committee on Public Accounts is consulted on all non-executive member appointments in accordance with section 228 (Consultation with appropriate Assembly Committee) of the Legislation Act 2001.

The term of appointment for Commission members is three years. Members are eligible for re-appointment at the expiration of that term. The Chief Executive remains as a member for the duration of his/her term of office.

Commissioners

Chairperson: Mr John Haskins, AM
Deputy Chairperson: Ms Alice Tay
Members: Ms Rebecca Vassarotti
Mr Paul Baxter
Chief Executive: Mr David Snowden


TheGambling and Racing Control Act 1999prescribes that of the four non-executive members of the Commission “one must have knowledge, experience or qualifications related to providing counselling services to problem gamblers”. The appointment of Ms Vassarotti has ensured compliance with this criterion.

Members’ Responsibilities

Under section 56 of the Financial Management Act (FMA) the Board is responsible, under the Minister, for the efficient and effective financial management of the authority. Section 77 of the FMA provides that a governing board has the following functions:

  • setting the authority’s policies and strategies;
  • governing the authority consistently with the authority’s establishing Act and other relevant legislation;
  • ensuring, as far as practicable, that the authority operates in a proper, effective and efficient way; and
  • ensuring, as far as practicable, that the authority complies with applicable governmental policies.

The Commission conducts formal meetings on a monthly basis where comprehensive briefing papers and recommendations regarding significant issues are prepared and presented to the Board by Commission staff.

Summary CV's for Commission Members

John Haskins (Chairperson)

John Haskins retired from full time work in 1998. For over 20 years prior to his retirement, John was Executive Chairman of a medium sized construction and development company with offices on the Gold Coast, Sydney and Canberra. He is a past Vice-President of the world-wide construction industry association known as CICA and past president of IFAWPCA (International Federation of Asian and Western Pacific Contractors' Association) of which 15 countries are members.

John is a Life Member and past president of the Master Builders' Association of Australia and of the Master Builders' Association of the ACT. He was a director of ACTTAB for 9 years, the last two years of his term as deputy chairman.

Alice Tay (Deputy Chairperson)

Ms Tay (LLB) is a partner with legal firm Meyer Vandenberg and leads their Corporate Advisory and Commercial Division. Ms Tay specialises in Commercial Law and Contracting, Corporations law and Corporate Governance; Information and Communications Technology and Intellectual Property.

Rebecca Vassarotti (Member)

Rebecca Vassarotti adds to the Commission knowledge and experience related to providing counselling services to problem gamblers. Ms Vassarotti is an experienced community service leader with expertise in a wide range of social policy areas including community sector reform, health, children and young people, housing and homelessness and gender. She currently runs her own consultancy business that works in areas of organisational development and a role that follows her previous appointment as the Deputy CEO at Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS).

Ms Vassarotti has also had a long association with the Council of Social Service movement, serving on the Boards of ACOSS and the ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS), including as President of ACTCOSS. Nationally, she also worked with the Consumers Health Forum of Australia.

Ms Vassarotti is a board member of Community Housing Canberra, she serves on the Nominations Committee of ACTCOSS and chairs YWCA Australia's Pacific Working Group. She was previously a Co-Chair of the ACT Anti Poverty Week Coordinating Committee, a member of the ACT Portable Long Service Board and the ACT NGO representative to the National Implementation Panel for the National Action Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children.

Paul Baxter (Member)

Paul Baxter is a semi retired professional business consultant who until mid 2011 was the ‘public face’ of the ACT’s electricity and water pricing regulator, the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission, having been the inaugural Commissioner of that agency for nearly 16 years.

This role in the ACT partly overlapped with his nearly 25 years as a Director and Partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers, 16 years as a member of the Independent Audit Group of the Murray Darling Basin Commission, 5 years as the Associate Commissioner of the PNG Independent Consumer and Competition Commission, eight years as an Associate Commissioner of the ACCC, Chair of the National Water Accounting Standards Development Committee, and Chair of Anglicare Canberra/Goulburn.

In these various roles, Paul has been an adviser to Territory, State and Federal Governments and government agencies across Australia, an adviser to governments throughout the Asia Pacific region including China, Vietnam, Pakistan, Thailand, Fiji, Solomon Islands, and PNG, and an adviser and consultant to many of the larger domestic and international companies and businesses operating in this region.

In his various roles he has undertaken and chaired a wide range of public inquiries across economic and social issues, covering inter alia matters such as utility pricing and service provision, public transport reviews including road, rail, shipping and air transport, national and regional economic development strategic planning, water allocation and conservation strategies, trade practices and competitive behaviour reviews, sport, recreation and tourism inquiries, and social welfare and associated services reviews.

Mr Baxter maintains an involvement in economic and regulatory policy issues in PNG as an adviser to various government agencies, continues some private client work on economic regulation issues in Australia, and has an active involvement in not-for-profit activities in Canberra and the surrounding region.

David Snowden (Chief Executive Officer & Member)

Mr David Snowden is the Chief Operating Officer of Access Canberra and Chief Executive of the Gambling and Racing Commission. David has over 20 years of regulatory, enforcement and senior management experience across multiple Commonwealth, Territory and New Zealand public sector agencies, including Transport, Customs, Competition and Consumer Protection.

David also holds the statutory positions of ACT Commissioner for Fair Trading and Registrar General.

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