Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme appointment

The Hon Mark Coulton MP

Minister for Regional Health, Regional Communications and Local Government

The Coalition Government has appointed Graeme Barden as the new Executive Director of the nation’s industrial chemicals assessment and regulatory body, the Australian Industrial Chemicals Introduction Scheme (AICIS).

Federal Regional Health Minister, Mark Coulton said he was pleased that AICIS will be in the capable and experienced hands of Mr Barden for the next five years.

Mr Barden distinguished himself during the COVID-19 pandemic, serving as First Assistant Secretary in the Office of Health Protection and Response in the Department of Health.

“I welcome Mr Barden to the role of Executive Director. He brings significant technical experience in chemical regulation policy and has previously held leadership roles in the Office of Chemical Safety and the Health Protection Policy Branch of the Department,” Minister Coulton said.

Minister Coulton said Mr Barden’s appointment follows the retirement of the inaugural Executive Director, Dr Brian Richards.

“I’d like to thank Dr Richards for his service as the Director of the former National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) since 2012,” Minister Coulton said.

“Dr Richards led reforms to Australia’s industrial chemicals regulation, culminating with the commencement of AICIS in 2020.”

AICIS was formally established on 1 July 2020, to replace the 30­-year-old National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) to better protect Australians.

It is responsible for the assessment and evaluation of certain industrial chemicals and regulating their importation and manufacture in Australia.

AICIS also provides information and makes recommendations to the Australian Government and the states and territories about managing the risks of industrial chemicals.

An open recruitment process, chaired by the Chief Medical Officer, was conducted to appoint a new Executive Director.

Minister Coulton said AICIS has been well served by Acting-Executive Director, Dr Roshini Jayewardene, who will hand over to Mr Barden on Thursday, 1 July 2021.

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