By Claire Reilly

SYDNEY, NSW: Graeme Samuel, the chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, has announced that he will be stepping down from his role with the competition watchdog.

Samuel has been in the position since 2003 and is due to leave the ACCC at the end of the month.

Speaking on the ABC’s News Breakfast program this morning, Samuel said that he left the position proud of the work he had done for Australian consumers.

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Among his list of career highlights at the ACCC, Samuel reflected positively on the rollout of the new Australian Consumer Laws which “protect consumers from dishonest conduct,” the criminalisation of cartel conduct and the “restructure of the telecommunications sector to provide a basis for increased competition”.

He also lauded Senator Stephen Conroy’s push for the “structural separation of Telstra,” as a move that had been positive for Australian consumers. According to Samuel, the separation provided a “fundamental regulatory basis for increased competition in the sector.”

Graeme Samuel will be replaced by economist Rod Sims, who will take on the position on Monday 1 August.