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Functions and responsibilities

At the commencement of the reporting period, the ACMA was a statutory authority within the
then Communications and the Arts portfolio. On 1 February 2020, the Department of Communications and the Arts and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development consolidated as part of a machinery of government change to form the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (the Department). The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts is responsible for the portfolio.

The ACMA’s regulatory functions are set out in Part 2, Division 2 of the Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005. The ACMA is responsible for the regulation of broadcasting, radiocommunications, telecommunications and some online content in accordance with four principal acts—the Radiocommunications Act 1992, Telecommunications Act 1997, Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999 and Broadcasting Services Act 1992. There are other Acts that confer regulatory jurisdiction on the agency or are otherwise relevant to the ACMA in areas such as spam, the Do Not Call Register and interactive gambling.

In accordance with the relevant legislation, our specific responsibilities include:

  • regulating telecommunications and broadcasting services, some internet content, interactive gambling and datacasting services
  • managing access to spectrum and planning the availability of radiofrequency bands through licence arrangements, and resolving competing spectrum demands through price-based allocation methods both for the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors
  • regulating compliance with the relevant legislation, licence conditions, codes of practice, standards, service guarantees and other safeguards
  • upholding community safeguards and protections
  • promoting and facilitating industry self-regulatory and co-regulatory solutions to emerging issues
  • exercising powers, where necessary, to create legislative and other instruments, often in the form of standards or service provider rules
  • providing information to Australians to promote informed decisions about communications products and services
  • reporting on matters relating to the communications industry, including its performance
  • representing Australia’s communications interests internationally
  • advising the government on specific matters from time to time.

The Authority

Nerida O’Loughlin PSM

Chair and Agency Head—Nerida O’Loughlin PSM
Appointed 14 October 2017 for five years

Nerida O’Loughlin was appointed as Chair of the ACMA from 14 October 2017. From 2011, Nerida was a Deputy Secretary in the Department of Communications, where she led the Digital Television Switchover Program until 2013 and was responsible for a diverse range of policy, program and project areas. She also served as interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Digital Transformation Agency from 2016 to 2017.

Nerida has worked in Commonwealth and state government agencies, predominantly in technology and content policy and program roles. She also worked at the ACMA from 2006 to 2011 in general manager roles.

Nerida was awarded a Public Service Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List on 10 June 2019 for ‘outstanding public service through contributions to a more digital Australia and government’.
Nerida is also a Part-time Associate Member of the ACCC, appointed 6 April 2019 to 13 October 2022.

Creina Chapman
Deputy Chair and CEO—Creina Chapman
Appointed 11 June 2018 for five years

Creina Chapman has held a number of senior executive and strategic adviser roles at commercial media companies Southern Cross Austereo, News Corp, Publishing & Broadcasting Limited and the Nine Network. Her experience in the media and communications sector is gained from organisations spanning television, radio, print, mobile services, podcasting and online services that serve metropolitan, regional and remote Australian markets.

Creina has also been a senior policy adviser to federal members of parliament including former Senator Richard Alston, Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, and former Treasurer Joe Hockey MP.

Fiona Cameron
Full-time Member—Fiona Cameron
Appointed 23 July 2018 for five years

Fiona Cameron joined the ACMA from Screen Australia, where she was Chief Operating Officer since 2008. Prior to this role she was a General Manager with DMG Radio Australia, responsible for launching the new radio brand Nova in Melbourne.

Fiona has worked across state and federal government in portfolios as varied as education, regional development and communications. She has been a Director of AFTRS and Commercial Radio Australia.

James Cameron
Full-time Member—James Cameron
Appointed Part-time Member 5 August 2013 for five years
Appointed Full-time Member 9 July 2015 to 4 August 2018
Appointed Acting Deputy Chair 24 February 2016 to 8 June 2018
(renewed in role three times)
Re-appointed Full-time Member 5 August 2018 to 4 August 2021

James Cameron has over 20 years of Australian Government public policy experience, including senior executive roles in the telecommunications, radiocommunications, broadcasting and digital economy fields.

James has held executive positions managing government policies and programs supporting Australia’s arts and sports sectors and, immediately prior to joining the ACMA, was Chief Executive Officer of the National Water Commission.

James is also a Part-time Associate Member of the ACCC, appointed 6 April 2019 to 4 August 2021.

Chris Jose
Full-time Member—Chris Jose
Appointed 1 May 2018 for five years

Chris Jose has extensive experience in government and private legal practice, with a primary focus on competition and consumer law, and public administration. After various government roles, including with the Trade Practices Commission (predecessor to the ACCC), Chris has advised corporate and government clients on a range of regulatory and consumer affairs matters. Most recently, he was a partner and consultant at Herbert Smith Freehills, specialising in competition and consumer law and the economic regulation of markets.

In his telecommunications regulatory practice, Chris has advised governments and corporate clients on competition, consumer impacts, economic regulation and access to infrastructure. As the principal regulatory adviser to the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Government on comprehensive reforms of the information and communications technology sector in PNG, he guided the government in the reformulation of the National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Policy and the development and implementation of a new regulatory framework for the ICT sector in PNG.

Anita Jacoby AM
Associate Member—Anita Jacoby AM
Appointed Part-time Member 5 August 2013 to 4 August 2018
Appointed Associate Member 5 August 2018 for five years

Anita Jacoby is a broadcast executive and company director with more than 25 years’ experience in media and communications. A creative with a background as a multi-award-winning television, current affairs and film producer, Anita has created hundreds of hours of original content across almost all genres, and for every free-to-air network and Foxtel. Most recently, she was Managing Director of ITV Studios Australia, responsible for the local operations of this global company.

Anita’s work has been recognised with six AFIs/AACTAs, a Logie and various other industry awards. She is currently on the National Advisory Board of Women in Media and has been a non-executive director on a number of not-for-profit boards, including headspace and Arts Law Centre Australia.

Anita was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Australia Day 2019 Honours List for her significant service to broadcast and print media and to community mental health groups.

Delia Rickard PSM
Associate Member—Delia Rickard PSM
Appointed 4 April 2019 for five years, or until the appointee ceases to be a member of the ACCC, whichever comes first

Delia Rickard was appointed to the position of Deputy Chair of the ACCC in June 2012 for a period of five years and reappointed for a further five years in August 2017. She has extensive public service experience. Her passion is for consumer protection and she has worked in a variety of senior roles, primarily at the ACCC and Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Delia sits on the ACCC’s enforcement, adjudications, communications and strategic compliance committees. She also chairs the ACCC’s market study into the cost of insurance in northern Australia and is a member of the board for a number of other ACCC market studies.

Delia was awarded the Public Service Medal in 2011 for her contribution to consumer protection and financial services. She has also been awarded the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals Lifetime Achievement award.

Cristina Cifuentes
Associate Member—Cristina Cifuentes
Appointed 4 April 2019 for five years, or until the appointee ceases to be a member of the ACCC, whichever comes first

Cristina Cifuentes has vast experience in the public and private sectors across public policy, finance and utility regulation, including positions at the Reserve Bank of Australia, the NSW Treasury and the Australian Securities Commission. She served as the state Part-time Member of the Australian Energy Regulator between 2010 and 2013.

Cristina is Chair of the ACCC’s Communications Committee and Infrastructure Committee, where she oversees the ACCC’s regulatory role with key infrastructure in areas such as telecommunications, wheat, ports, rail and water. She is also the Commonwealth member of the AER Board, which regulates the national electricity and gas markets.

Cristina has also held a number of directorships, including with the Hunter Water Corporation and First State Super Trustee Corporation.

On 7 May 2020, Cristina announced that she would leave the ACCC on 3 July 2020. Her appointment to the Authority also ceased on 3 July.

Table 1.1: Details of accountable authority during 2019–20


Position title/position held

Period as the accountable authority or member

Date of commencement

Date of cessation

Nerida O’Loughlin

Chair and Agency Head

14 October 2017 for five years


Agency structure

The ACMA’s day-to-day activities are managed by the Chair, the Deputy Chair/CEO, four general managers and 10 executive managers.

The ACMA’s organisational structure at 30 June 2020 is set out in Figure 1.1.

At 30 June 2020, the ACMA had 460 employees under the Public Service Act 1999, most of whom are located in our offices in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney. We also have employees located in offices in Brisbane, Hobart and Lucas Heights. Detailed information about our staff is provided in Appendix 2 of this report.

Figure 1.1: Organisational structure as at 30 June 2020 ACMA organisational structure

Our purpose

The ACMA’s purpose, set out in the ACMA’s 2019–20 Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) and corporate plan, is to maximise the economic and social benefits of communications and media for Australia.

Outcome and program structure

The ACMA’s 2019–20 PBS set out the resources allocated to the ACMA by government to deliver Outcome 1, and the two programs that contribute to it.

Outcome 1

A communications and media environment that balances the needs of the industry and the Australian community through regulation, education and advice

Program 1.1

Communications regulation, planning and licensing

Program 1.2

Communications safeguards, education and information

This program contributes to the outcome by the allocation and use of critical public resources, radiofrequency spectrum and telephone numbers, to maximise their value to the Australian community.

This program contributes to the outcome by ensuring efficient, effective and contemporary safeguards protect users of media and communication services so that the Australian community can confidently use those services.