Albanese names Betts as new infrastructure head

Former state bureaucrat Jim Betts is among a raft of senior public sector appointments announced by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

Jim Betts

Mr Albanese says Mr Betts will bring to the federal level a deep understanding of the priority challenges facing governments in his new role as Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts.

Mr Betts, formerly Secretary of the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, Secretary of the Victorian Department of Transport, and CEO of Infrastructure NSW, takes up the role on July 11.

Diplomat Jan Adams has been named Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She is currently Australia’s Ambassador to Japan and has previously served as Ambassador to China, as a senior trade negotiator and as Ambassador for Climate Change. Ms Adams has also had postings to Washington and to the OECD Secretariat in Paris. She commences her appointment on 1 July 2022.

Natalie James becomes Secretary of the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations on July 11. Ms James is the former manager of Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, becoming a State Manager of that Department in 2010 and appointed the Fair Work Ombudsman for the Commonwealth in 2013.

Treasury Deputy Secretary Jenny Wilkinson will head the Department of Finance. She takes up her appointment on 9 August 2022, on Rosemary Huxtable’s retirement.

David Fredericks will leave his role as Secretary of the Department of Industry, Science and Resources to lead the newly created Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.

Meanwhile, Dr Gordon de Brouwer will return to the APS as Secretary for Public Sector Reform.

“Working to the Minister for the Public Service and in close partnership with Peter Woolcott AO, the Australian Public Service Commissioner, he will lead and implement a wide range of public sector reforms which will support my commitment to place greater value on the public service and to grow its capability,” Mr Albanese said.

Simon Atkinson and Kathryn Campbell conclude their Secretary roles from 1 July, with Ms Cambell taking up a senior appointment in the Defence portfolio in an AUKUS-related role.

The appointment of Secretary of the Department of Industry, Science and Resources will be made shortly, Mr Albanese said.

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