News & Media

Leading Scientist To Advise On Directions In Energy

Minister for Energy and Resources Peter Batchelor today announced the appointment of leading energy researcher Professor Frank Larkins to the newly created position of Chief Scientist (Energy) with the Department of Primary Industries. He said the appointment came at an important time for energy research and policy development both locally and internationally. “The Victorian Government is committed to establishing Victoria as a global leader in the development of sustainable energy technologies and policies, and to do this we need the best advice and expertise,” Mr Batchelor said. “Professor Larkins is well known for his extensive research and advisory roles in energy and related fields over a career that spans more than 30 years. “His experience and knowledge will be vital in helping steer Victoria towards developing sustainable energy solutions and policies.” Mr Batchelor said the role of Chief Scientist was created to provide strategic and policy advice to his office and to the Department of Primary Industry following the transfer of responsibility for energy and resources from the Department of Infrastructure to the Department of Primary Industries. Since January 2006, Professor Larkins has held the position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International) at the University of Melbourne, previously serving as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) from 1990 until 2005. He has held the position of Professor of Chemistry at the University since 1990. Professor Larkins currently chairs several committees including the National Synchrotron Scientific Advisory Committee and International Synchrotron Scientific Advisory Committee and is a member of the Victorian Knowledge Innovation Science and Engineering Council. He has also been a member of the Victorian Government’s Brown Coal Research and Development Advisory Committee, and the Federal Government’s Energy Research Development and Demonstration Council. Professor Larkins said he was pleased to be joining DPI at a crucial time for the energy sector. “The whole world is looking for ways to provide for our energy needs in a sustainable and responsible manner,” Professor Larkins said. “Victoria has an international reputation for quality and innovative work in scientific fields, including Australia’s first carbon storage trial being conducted in the Otway Basin and significantly contributing to the international understanding of geosequestration. “The world will be watching Victoria as we tackle the substantial challenge of finding energy solutions that have lower emissions, are renewable and help address issues such as climate change and green house gases. “There is a lot of scientific and policy talent in Victoria working in the energy field and I am looking forward to working with them to ensure Victoria has a clear, strategic approach to addressing these energy issues.”