Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Matt Kean has today paid tribute to NSW Fair Trading Commissioner Rod Stowe for his 40 years of service to the people of NSW, including 28 years in the consumer affairs portfolio.
Mr Stowe’s love of public service began appropriately on Valentine’s Day in 1977, when he was appointed to the State Pollution Control Commission as a licensing clerk. He subsequently worked in education, superannuation and local government.
However, it was at Business and Consumer Affairs – a predecessor of NSW Fair Trading – that Mr Stowe found his niche. He joined as a policy manager in 1989 and became Commissioner in 2011.
In Parliament today, Mr Kean thanked Mr Stowe for his stellar contribution to public sector administration, and in particular for his tireless work as a consumer advocate.
“Four decades of continuous public service, and almost three decades dedicated to protecting consumers from dangerous products and shonky traders – these are magnificent milestones indeed,” Mr Kean said.
“I have the highest admiration for Mr Stowe’s dedication, professionalism and loyalty to the people of this state,” he said.
Mr Stowe said while the recognition was gratifying, his real motivation came from helping consumers. “Every day of every week, I lead a team of professionals who make a positive and tangible difference in consumers’ lives,” he said.
“In this job, I have seen some very disappointing examples of human behavior, and probably the worst are the romance scammers who fleece the lonely and vulnerable of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“Members of my own family have fallen prey to scams; travelling conmen convinced my wife’s elderly aunt to pay them $20,000 to clean the outside of her home. They even escorted her to the bank to withdraw the money, and then disappeared.
“It’s victims like these I’m here to serve, and I look forward to continuing my work in empowering consumers, educating traders, enforcing the law, and supporting the government.”
This article has been republished from an NSW Finance, Services and Innovation media release, available here