Former Queensland assistant minister appointed to ASQA

Former Queensland assistant minister Saxon Rice has been named a commissioner of the national vocational education and training regulator, replacing the long-serving Michael Lavarch.

Ms Rice will join the Australian Skills Quality Authority in mid-April as deputy chief commissioner with responsibility for risk, intelligence and regulatory support.

Assistant Skills Minister Karen Andrews described Ms Rice as an experienced leader with “a thorough understanding of the operational VET environment, commonwealth and state legal frameworks, and a strong background in stakeholder management”.

“She will further develop ASQA’s risk based approach to regulation,” Ms Andrews said.

Ms Rice was assistant minister for technical and further education in Queensland premier Campbell Newman’s Liberal National government, serving under education minister John-Paul Langbroek.

She won the seat of former Labor treasurer Andrew Fraser in the LNP’s 2012 landslide election victory, but lost it in the electoral rout three years later. She has since run organisations including an online jobs marketplace and a cancer charity, and has been a member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal since late 2016.

Ms Andrews acknowledged the efforts of Professor Lavarch, a former federal attorney-general in Paul Keating’s Labor government.

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