(1) The Minister may appoint persons to be associate members of the Commission.
(1A) If there is at least one fully-participating jurisdiction, the Minister must not appoint a person as an associate member unless the Minister is satisfied that a majority of such jurisdictions support the appointment.
(2) An associate member of the Commission shall be appointed for such period not exceeding 5 years as is specified in the instrument of his or her appointment, but is eligible for re-appointment.
(3) Subject to this Part, an associate member of the Commission holds office on such terms and conditions as the Minister determines.
(4) The Chairperson may, by writing signed by him or her, direct that, for the purposes of the exercise of the powers of the Commission under this Act, a gas market instrument or the consumer data rules, in relation to a specified matter, not being an exercise of those powers by a Division of the Commission, a specified associate member of the Commission or specified associate members of the Commission shall be deemed to be a member or members of the Commission and, in that case, unless the contrary intention appears, a reference in this Act to a member of the Commission shall, for the purposes only of the exercise of the powers of the Commission in relation to that matter, be construed as including a reference to that associate member of the Commission or each of those associate members of the Commission, as the case may be.
(5) Associate members of the Commission shall be deemed to be members of the Commission for the purposes of section 19.
(6) For the purpose of the determination by the Commission of an application for an authorization, or the making by the Commission of any decision for the purposes of subsection 93(3), (3A) or (3B) or 93AC(1), (2) or (2A), the Chairperson shall consider:
(a) whether he or she should give a direction under subsection (4) of this section; or
(b) in the case of a matter, or a class of matters, in relation to which the Chairperson proposes to give a direction under subsection 19(1), whether he or she should direct that the Division concerned is to include an associate member of the Commission or associate members of the Commission.
(7) Nothing in subsection (4) or (5) deems an associate member of the Commission to be a member of the Commission for any purpose related to the preparation of a report by the Commission referred to in section 171.