Former treasury head Martin Parkinson is joining the board of Orica

Former treasury secretary Martin Parkinson. Saeed Khan-Pool/Getty Images

Dr Martin Parkinson, the head of Treasury under the Gillard and Abbott governments, is joining the board of the world’s biggest supplier of explosives.

The economist replaces retiring director Dr Nora Scheinkestel from October 1.

“It is a huge honour to join Orica, a long-established Australian company using its strong R&D focus to establish global leadership in the provision of commercial explosives and blasting services for the infrastructure and mining sectors,” Parkinson said.

Orica is feeling the effect of the global downturn in mining investment.

The company reported a 3% drop in March half year net profit to $211 million and says it’s difficult to give profit guidance in an uncertain market. It sold its chemicals business in February to private equity group Blackstone for $750 million. Part of the proceeds, about $400 million, are being used in a share buyback.

Former BHP executive Alberto Calderon was appointed CEO in May.

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