Martin Parkinson, the former head of the federal Treasury who was dumped by Tony Abbott, looks set to make a triumphant return to the public service.
He will be appointed head of the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet, according to a report in The Australian Financial Review. It is the most powerful role in the civil service.
His appointment will come amid a shake-up of senior civil service ranks, part of which was announced by prime minister Malcolm Turnbull today.
The current head of the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet, Michael Thawley, had decided to retire from the post, Turnbull said. Parkinson is now considered Thawley’s likely successor.
Abbott stunned the bureaucracy by ousting Parkinson, especially with his open declaration that the reason for his removal was because “Australia’s policy direction [had] changed very substantially” with the election of the Coalition. Parkinson’s association with the Labor administration was, to Abbott, unacceptable.
Treasurer Joe Hockey would later ask Parkinson to stay on for an extra nine months while they found a successor, which turned out to be John Fraser, former head of global asset management at UBS. Fraser will reportedly stay in his post in the coming shake-up.
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