Peter Jacob

Managing Director

BAgEcon (UNE)

Peter has over 25 years of experience in providing strategic assessments together with economic and financial advice to water utilities, government and the agricultural sector.

He has specialist experience and expertise in economic and financial modelling covering business valuations, revenue determinations, long-term cash flow modelling, pricing and tariff structures and benefit cost analyses. Peter has particular expertise in:

  • long term water security planning and assessments integrating outputs from hydrology modeling with economic models
  • natural resource strategic reviews
  • financial and economic modelling, with particular emphasis on urban water and waste-water services and irrigation and drainage businesses venue determinations, long-term cash flow modelling, pricing and tariff structures and cost benefit analyses
  • understanding the key drivers of business profitability
  • feasibility and investment studies
  • business planning and business case preparation
  • providing strategic economic and financial advice in public private partnership infrastructure projects
  • pricing and financial investment studies

In his financial advisory role, Peter works closely and directly with chief executives and financial directors to ensure appropriate commercial and business outcomes.

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Dr John Marsden

Founding Director

PhD (ANU), BEcon (WA)

Dr John Marsden has extensive experience in providing both strategic and detailed advice to water and other utilities on economic regulation, governance, pricing, property rights and environmental and natural resource economics.

He has particular skills in the areas of:

  • regulatory pricing principles and their application
  • risk and cost of capital
  • property right and entitlement definition
  • trade and registry arrangements for natural resource-based assets
  • institutional arrangements for utility and natural resource management
  • project integration, particularly of multidisciplinary issues.

John was re-appointed to the Australian Competition Tribunal for a five year term in 2008.

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Alasdair Norton

Director (Chairman)

BA (Hons) (Oxford) - Engineering, Economics and Management

Alasdair has over 15 years experience in international investment and financial markets and has managed groups within an international investment bank in London, New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong. He has served as Managing Director of Credit Suisse First Boston with responsibility for its equity capital markets business in Asia and its derivative structuring business in the emerging markets globally.

His experience includes:

  • preparation, negotiation and execution of fixed income and equity capital raisings for a broad range of entities
  • analysis, negotiation and execution of complex financial structuring including credit, equity, foreign exchange, commodity and environmental asset-related derivative products
  • assisting entities in their negotiations with commercial and investment banks with regard to capital structuring and the reverse engineering of derivative products
  • general business and financial mentoring to a range of new ventures, smaller companies and not-for-profit enterprises
  • fixed income and equity portfolio investment management.
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Dr Jeremy Cheesman


PhD (ANU), MCom (UNSW), BSc (Hons) (UNSW)

Jeremy Cheesman is an experienced economist, specialising in water resources and the environment. He combines technical expertise with a proven ability in leading complex multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder projects, and strong problem solving and communication skills. Jeremy’s areas of technical expertise include:

  • financial and economic modelling, with particular emphasis on cost benefit analyses to support environmental decision making
  • bio-economic and hydro-economic modelling
  • market-based instrument design and implementation
  • non-market valuation
  • business case development and review
  • production efficiency analysis
  • market demand analysis and demand modelling
  • institutional and governance analysis
  • applied micro-econometrics.

Recent projects include:

  • designing and implementing market-based instruments to manage urban stormwater issues
  • developing a framework and investment logic to support source catchment management investment prioritisation
  • economic and commercial analyses of whole of water cycle investments in Melbourne and regional centres
  • expert testimony on regulatory economic matters at VCAT
  • hydro-economic valuation of Victorian watersheds
  • economic evaluations of Victorian regional growth policies and investments
  • evaluating the non-market benefits e-water infrastructure investments
  • water market advice to the Commonwealth
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Dr Joel Byrnes

Associate Director

PhD, BEcon (UNE)

Joel Byrnes recently joined Marsden Jacob.  Joel brings extensive experience in consulting and public policy formation with sound theoretical foundations from teaching economics.  He specialises in providing advice to clients on policy and regulation issues relating to the urban water sector in Australia. He has authored numerous academic articles on the topic, and is also an adjunct professor at La Trobe University in Victoria, Australia.

Prior to commencing his consulting career eight years ago Joel was an academic economist, teaching a wide range of microeconomic subjects, and publishing widely on water resource and local government matters. His publications on the economics of Local Government in Australia are regularly referenced in Government and academic reports. Joel also spent three years at the Reserve Bank of Australia developing policy to improve the financial system in Australia.

Joel maintains an active connection to the academic community. He is currently an adjunct Professor at La Trobe University in Victoria, where he is a member of the Centre for Water Management and Policy. He is a member of the Centre for Local Government at the University of New England, where he sits on the editorial board, and is regularly asked to peer review journal articles in his areas of expertise.

Joel’s particular expertise includes:

  • leading cross disciplinary teams to analyse complex policy problems in the urban water sector
  • development of public policy
  • preparation of Business Cases, particularly in the water, land use and transport sectors
  • Cost Benefit Analysis of policy change and infrastructure investment

Most recently Joel has worked on:

  • Cost Benefit Analysis of changes to new buildings to enable Whole of Water Cycle policy implementation
  • Business Case for investment to deliver improved water quality outcomes in the ACT
  • freight demand forecasts for a range of ports in Papua New Guinea
  • development of a Cost Benefit Analysis Tool for the assessment of Whole of Water Cycle Management policy
  • Cost Benefit Analysis of options to service growth in Melbourne’s Northern Growth Area
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Andrew Campbell

Associate Director

MBA (Deakin), BEng (Hons) (Monash)

Andrew joined Marsden Jacob in July 2012 with over 25 years of industry experience that included Intelligent Energy Systems, the Victorian Power Exchange, and roles in generation, transmission and corporate at the State Electricity Commission of Victoria.

Andrew was involved in the establishment of the Victoria and National electricity markets and the Victorian gas market, and has been very active in proving advice and leading assignments in many areas of these markets since they commenced operation.   He was also had a significant involvement in the Western Australian electricity market, national gas market and a number of electricity markets overseas.

Andrew’s particular expertise includes:

  • the economics and operation of electricity and gas markets
  • generator behavior dynamics in electricity spot markets
  • transmission planning, regulation and risks
  • the reform of electricity and gas markets
  • technology developments
  • environmental policies such as carbon pricing and renewable generation
  • the modelling of electricity and gas markets and the use of such models in assignments to support asset transactions, regulatory issues, and general market outlooks.

In Australia Andrew’s clients have included National Electricity Market generator and retail companies, AEMO, AEMC, AER, TNSP’s, industry bodies, investors and banks.

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Matthew Clarke

Associate Director

MAppFin (Melb), BCom (Hons) (Melb)

Matthew is an economist with a wide range of experience across transport, agriculture, water, biosecurity, fisheries, emergency management and natural resource management. He has worked in executive level positions in state government and for a federal statutory agency, as well as senior positions in the private sector.

Matthew has extensive experience in:

  • undertaking cost-benefit analysis, market assessments, business cases and investment appraisals for both the public sector and private sector;
  • project and program evaluation;
  • regulatory frameworks and reform;
  • regulatory pricing across a range of sectors, including transport, energy and water. This includes cost allocation, DORC valuations, charging structures and tariff design and cost recovery;
  • logistics pricing (in particular in transport);
  • survey development;
  • stakeholder consultation;
  • supply chain operations and planning; and
  • economic and financial modelling.

Matthew is the Practice Leader for transport and is a leading transport economist with extensive experience in: business cases; cost-benefit analysis; market assessments; regulatory frameworks and reform; regulatory pricing; economic modelling; and research. Matthew has undertaken business cases across a range of areas including trains, heavy vehicles, warehousing, ports, marketing and processing. Matthew has also led large projects involving cost-benefit analysis in transport related to heavy vehicles and roads. He has extensive experience in regulatory pricing in transport – both road and rail. Matthew’s regulatory pricing experience also extends to water where he has undertaken a range of regulatory pricing projects, including demand and supply analysis.

Matthew also has extensive experience as an economist in agriculture and fisheries. Matthew has experience across a range of agriculture sectors including horticulture, lamb, dairy, grains and fruit and nuts, as well as biosecurity which crosses these sectors. He has extensive experience in undertaking a range of projects in agriculture and fisheries, including: cost-benefit analysis; project/program evaluation; productivity analysis; regulatory frameworks and reform; and survey development. Additionally, Matthew was a supply chain manager for many years in the grain sector and has extensive knowledge of this sector.

In the disability sector, Matthew has undertaken pricing reviews and developed accommodation strategies for people with a disability.

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Gavan Dwyer

Associate Director

MAgSci (Melb.), BAgEcon (Hons) (UNE)

Gavan Dwyer is a leading agricultural and resource economist. His areas of expertise include applied microeconomics of agriculture and natural resources. He is specialised in water, environmental and agricultural policy analysis, institutional and regulatory design, market failure and benefit cost analysis.

Gavan has recently joined the Marsden Jacob team and has led among others the independent review of structural governance for grains research, benefit flow modelling of dairy RDE, benefits and cost assessment of the Pest Free Area, health and activity monitoring framework for the earth resources sector and evaluations of the bushfire risk assessment and management programs.

Gavan was previously Chief Economist of DEPI Victoria and Executive Director of Policy Services of the former DPI, he has also held senior roles in the Productivity Commission and ABARES. He brings with him a wealth of experience in applied analysis of contemporary public policy issues leading among others DPIs socio economic assessment of the Murray Darling Basin Plan, DEPIs economic assessment of the abalone virus, expert witness to the Victorian Supreme Court ruling on the Murray Valley Citrus Board.

Other projects have included modelling retail electricity margins, measurement of the regional dairy industry productivity, red  tape reduction and regulatory and compliance reform, cost recovery arrangements for fisheries and earth resources, and the economics of brown coal development.

Gavan is currently President of the Victorian  Branch of the Australian Agriculture and Resource Economics Society of Australia.

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Dr Peter Kinrade

Associate Director

PhD (Melb), MEnvSt (Tas), BCom (Melb)

Peter is an economist and environmental manager with Marsden Jacob Associates.  He coordinates Marsden Jacob’s  environment and climate change practice. He has more than 20 years of professional experience in environmental and natural resources economics, policy and management with a particular focus on climate change and greenhouse, sustainable energy and waste management.  Peter’s specific areas of expertise include:

  • cost benefit analysis, including non-market valuation;
  • risk and vulnerability assessment;
  • environmental/ resource accounting;
  • environmental, energy and natural resource policy and program development and review.

He also has considerable experience in stakeholder engagement and community outreach on environmental management and economics.

Peter has applied his expertise across a range of sectors including coastal management, energy, water, forestry, fisheries, waste management and land use planning. His consulting work has been undertaken for numerous clients including federal and state government departments and agencies, local government, water and energy utilities, NGOs and the private sector (manufacturing, energy and investment banking).

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Rob Nolan


BA BEcon (La Trobe)

Rob Nolan brings leading industry expertise in economic regulation, government policy and strategic business planning in the water and energy sectors. This has included providing strategic economic advice to support the development of key business and pricing strategies, plus significant experience working with Boards and senior executives. Achievements include:

  • Leading the development and delivery of pricing strategies, including South East Water’s 2013 and 2018 price submissions to the Essential Services Commission. South East Water’s 2018 price submission, delivered under the new PREMO framework, received a fast-tracked draft decision from the Essential Services Commission with no changes to the submission proposals. This required:
    • Development of customer outcomes and performance measures that South East Water will commit to delivering for customers to increase customer value over the next 5 years, as well as ensured they met ESC expectations under its revised pricing framework
    • Development of robust demand and expenditure forecasts, review and modeling of tariff structures and prices, taking into account customer preferences and customer impacts
    • Preparation of the high quality written submissions to the ESC to justify the basis of South East Water’s pricing strategies
    • Effective engagement with senior executive and South East Water’s Board to ensure they understood and were well informed of key pricing strategies
    • Effective management of South East Water’s relationship with key stakeholders, including the Essential Services Commission, customer representative groups and the State Government
  • Managing elements of price reviews in the energy and water sectors. This has included:  (1) reviews of capital expenditure and demand forecasts of the Victorian electricity distribution regulatory proposals for the 2011-2015 regulatory period, (2) quantitative reviews of electricity expenditure and demand forecasts to test against requirements of the National Electricity Rules (3) assessing ring fencing provisions in access regimes for water and sewerage services (4) reviewing the regulatory accounting code for Victorian water businesses
  • Leading the development of South East Water’s corporate strategy and annual business plans to the shareholder
  • Leading submissions to the Essential Services Commission and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning on the review of the pricing and regulatory frameworks in Victoria
  • Leading and contributing to economic cost-benefit analyses for a number of major water and energy project business cases, and ensuring economic principles were being applied appropriately

Rob is well-known and respected across Victoria’s water and energy regulatory and policy sectors. He joins us after almost eight years with South East Water, where he was most recently Group Manager of Planning and Regulation.  Previously Rob was an Assistant Director at the Australian Energy Regulator, and held economic and policy advisor roles at the Essential Services Commission and the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet.

We’re looking forward to Rob’s capacity, industry knowledge, networks and experience benefitting our practice and clients.

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Nadja Arold


MSc (Econ) (Hagen), MBA (Melb), BEng (DHBW Mannheim)

Nadja is an economist with extensive experience in the regulated utility sectors, public policy and natural resource management. She’s a strong analyst with an energetic and innovative approach to problem solving and project delivery.  Nadja is able to quickly appreciate the details of and issues faced by individual businesses and translate that understanding into productive, high quality analysis for consideration and evaluation by boards, executive managers and other stakeholders.

She offers strong analytic and technical skills in applied economics, and has a substantial track record in quantitative research and analysis and in the presentation of complex analysis in well-written reports.

For example, Nadja recently completed a major Water Security study in Tuvalu. The assignment required developing complex water demand and supply models to understand the current and future water demand and supply balance on Funafuti and Vaitupu. The demand-supply models were then used to develop augmentation portfolios addressing future supply shortfalls. Nadja has also conducted two separate cost benefit analyses (CBAs) for the two atolls, assessing potential water security portfolios. This was followed by training workshops to build capacity amongst officials from Tuvalu government ministries and regional development organisations.

Other recent projects include:

  • economic and financial analyses of integrated water management (IWM) and water sensitive urban design (WSUD) investment proposals;
  • evaluation of non-market benefits of water infrastructure investments;
  • evaluation of dual reticulation schemes;
  • analysis of community and regional level social and economic impacts of national water reforms;
  • cost benefit and cost effectiveness analyses of water supply augmentation options.
  • development of comprehensive and rigorous business cases;
  • surveying water brokers and forecasting prices and trade volumes in Australian allocation water markets; and
  • the development of a decision support framework and guide to improve the capacity of coastal councils to make rigorous and transparent decisions on adaptation responses to climate risks.

Nadja’s master thesis ‘The Economic Value of Life’ focuses on the non-market valuation of changes in the survival probability, which forms the basis for estimating the value of a statistical life.

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Philip Jones


BEcon (Qld)

Thirty years’ experience undertaking economic analysis in the private and public sectors underpins Philip’s expertise and skills across policy, project and regulatory assignments. This provides Philip with tools he has applied to analysis across a broad range of sectors. Most recently these have been applied in analysis of the alcohol and gambling sectors; in addition, he has also experience in telecommunications, water, cemeteries and transport.

For example, recent analyses of alcohol pricing applied rigorous cost benefit analysis to the range of impacts affected by these policies. Key elements of the analysis included review and development of demand estimates across consumer groups and products, consideration of the range of impacts of drinking to drinkers and others and their incorporation into the framework and economic model.

Philip has extensive experience in the application of National Competition Policy, particularly in infrastructure charges and in the reform of government enterprise and regulation.

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Kanchana Karunaratna


MBA (Melb), Grad Dip Bus Admin (Melb) B Eng (Curtin)

Kanchana Karunaratna has joined Marsden Jacob Associates’ Melbourne office.

Kanchana brings with him a wealth of knowledge across the water sector with over ten years’ experience in Victoria and Western Australia. He is a specialist in urban water management and integrated water cycle systems analysis, with proven ability in understanding and deconstructing the complex issues related to strategic planning within the water sector. Kanchana has a strong understanding of the needs of asset owners and water retailers when it comes to making prudent and efficient decisions regarding future infrastructure options.

Prior to joining Marsden Jacob Associates, Kanchana held strategic advisory roles at Yarra Valley Water (YVW) and the State Government of Victoria. He has enduring, well established relationships within the water sector as well as insight into the delivery pathways from strategic objectives to practical implementation.

Recent work includes:

  • Attestation for the Yarra Valley Water Regulatory Pricing Submission under the new Essential Services Commission PREMO framework. This work included managing the Board attestation process and providing guidance on the preparation of YWV’s business cases for capital and operational expenditure to prove robustness of the forecasting methodology.
  • Analysis of water retailer historical performance and providing advice on future performance benchmarks based on Citizens Jury recommendations.
  • Chair of the recent sector wide project to develop the investment evaluation framework for the Victorian Metropolitan Urban Water Strategies. The work included investigating and confirming the use of long run marginal cost (LRMC) for water supply based on future climate forecasts in investment evaluation, the treatment of direct and indirect network costs, and the treatment of positive and negative externalities. The findings confirmed the appropriateness of using  LRMC for water headworks and sewer treatment, however, the use of LRMC for valuing transfer infrastructure was considered to be inappropriate.
  • Water resource modelling based on historical streamflow sequences to confirm desalination water orders and cost. The objective of the project was to identify the lowest cost desalination order to satisfy the water security rules within a three year period.
  • Technical advisor for the Melbourne northern growth corridor integrated water management project. The project was carried out on behalf of the Victorian State Government and included options assessment for provision of alternative water supply for the growth corridor.
  • As a member of the recently formed Melbourne Water Industry Climate Change Committee, Kanchana provided recommendations to meet strategic outcomes in addressing climate change adaptation and conducted knowledge sharing forums to cross pollinate ideas across industries.
  • Whole of water cycle assessment for integrated water management projects for multiple greenfield, redevelopment and infill developments within Metropolitan Melbourne.

Kanchana has a pragmatic and practical approach to problem solving and enjoys looking at the problem from multiple angles to understand its nuances. Kanchana’s appointment will further strengthen Marsden Jacob’s capabilities in urban water management, systems analysis, regulation and pricing, and investment evaluation.

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Peter McKenzie

Senior Consultant

BSc (Monash), BEng (Monash)

Peter McKenzie joined Marsden Jacob in July 2012 after four years of industry experience with Intelligent Energy Systems.

Peter has had significant involvement in numerous projects associated with all the Australian States and Territories in electricity and gas markets.  Peter has led the quantitative modelling in a number of projects ranging from due diligence assignments to policy impacts.

Peter has particular expertise in:

  • the operation of the electricity and gas markets operating in Australia;
  • simulation modelling of electricity markets and the design of such modelling
  • economic least cost modelling of electricity and gas markets
  • the modelling of environmental markets that include carbon emission trading and renewable energy
  • sophisticated analysis and presentation of market data and modelling results supported by the use of statistical analysis software
  • development of bespoke models in electricity and gas markets
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Hana Ramli

Senior Consultant

B Sc (Actuarial Science) (Hons) (Curtin)

Hana has recently joined Mardsen Jacob after providing advice across the private and public sectors on a range of  issues in the energy sectors.

For over six years, Hana was a Commercial analyst with experience in strategy development, pricing and forecasting, and managing advice on market intelligence and regulatory changes for companies such as Wesfarmers and Alinta Energy.

In energy, Hana also undertook a range of modelling roles including with gas and electricity load demand for the WA retail market, financial models for Corporate Finance use and responses to the Public Utility Office on retail matters.

Prior to this extensive energy experience, Hana was an Actuarial Analyst at Wesfarmers Insurance where she worked with various actuarial models such as for insurance portfolio including Employers Liability, Home and Content and Motor Vehicle.

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Makere Hurst


BCom BA (Wellington) completing MEcon (Monash)

Makere is an experienced policy analyst focussing on the intersections of economics, natural resources and sustainability. She approaches her analysis through application of economic theory and quantitative modelling, with a keen focus on the practical implications of her work.  She’s adept at taking complex information and communicating it in ways that make it accessible to stakeholders at all levels.

Makere joins us from New Zealand where she was most recently a policy advisor in the Just Transitions Unit with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. As an advisor in the Just Transitions Unit, she worked specifically on the government’s cross-agency climate change response group (The Transition Hub), on the Transition to a Low Emissions Economy. Her work included analysis and modelling assessing the economic impact on regions, sectors, communities and households of efficiently transitioning to a low emissions economy. This work included developed linked emissions, household expenditure and CGE models. She also assisted in drafting the New Zealand Zero Carbon Bill, which led to establishing the Independent Climate Change Commission, setting the 2050 Net Zero Target under the Paris Agreement and reforming the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme.

Makere has also acted as secretary and policy advisor in Regional Economic Development) with the NZ Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.  As an advisor, she worked on the government’s Regional Growth Programme, analysing and implementing economic development policy to help increase jobs, income and investment for New Zealand in the regions.  This work included analysed business cases, and undertaking cost-benefit analysis to assist regional councils with their economic development objectives, through allocation of the Provincial Growth Fund.

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