Gaetjens out, acting head installed at PM&C

In other news:

  • Central Coast CFO to take up new role
  • WSROC president elected for another term

Australia’s top public servant under Scott Morrison, Phil Gaetjens, has been replaced by an acting departmental head, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says.

Phil Gaetjens

At a doorstop after being sworn in last week, Mr Albanese said career public servant and Deputy Commissioner of the APSC Stephanie Foster is currently acting as head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and an announcement about the position would be made shortly.

Mr Gaetjens, who led an inquiry into the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins at Parliament house in 2019, has been secretary of PM&C since 2019.

“Stephanie Foster is the acting head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, as of yesterday. I will be making an announcement at an appropriate time after we go through the formal procedures, which are in place, for the appointment of a secretary of the Department of Prime Minister,’’ Mr Albanese told reporters last Monday.

He also said he had met with officials from the department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and told them the new government wouldn’t be sacking public servants.

Labor valued Australia’s public servants, he said.

“I thank them for their professionalism. It was a reminder, as a former Deputy Prime Minister and minister, of how valued our public servants are. We won’t be sacking public servants either, we will value public servants and respect them,’’ he said.

Government News has sought further information from Mr Albanese’s office about the status of Mr Gaetjen’s position.

Central Coast CFO takes new job with Coffs Harbour

Central Coast’s CFO Natalia Cowley will be leaving the organisation from June 16 to take on a new role as general manager at Coffs Harbour City Council.

Natalia Cowley

CEO David Farmer said Ms Cowley had helped the financially troubled Council, which was sacked for financial mismanagement in March, achieve one of the most significant financial turn arounds in Australian Local Government history.

“I sincerely thank Ms Cowley for her service to the Central Coast community, her extensive contributions to Council’s Financial Recovery Plan and helping to secure the long-term financial future of the organisation,” he said.

Interim arrangements will be announced prior to mid-June while Council undertakes a recruitment process.

Barry Calvert re-elected to WSROC

Hawkesbury City Councils’ deputy Mayor Barry Calvert has been re-elected to lead the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils representing six western Sydney councils.

As President, Councillor Calvert chairs the WSROC Executive which sets region-wide priorities and strategies for the WSROC Board and provides organisational direction to WSROC’s Chief Executive Officer and staff.

Cr Calvert (centre) with new Treasurer Chris Quilkey from Blacktown (L), and vice presidents Karress Rhodes from Liverpool and Glen Elmore from Cumberland

Cr Calvert says he looks forward to engaging with the new Albanese government.

Priorites will including builing resilience to urban heat, improving investment in transport, promoting economic development and supporting social infrastructure an d the local arts ande cultural sector.

WSROC was also committed to sustainable waste management and rescource recovery, he said.

“WSROC is keen to engage with the Federal Government on these and other matters of concern to the people of Greater Western Sydney,” he said.

WSROC’s Councillors will gather in June for a special Strategy Planning and Priorities Workshop to review and set the agenda for WSROC advocacy for the next 2 to 5 years.

Comment below to have your say on this story.

If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at  

Sign up to the Government News newsletter

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required