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New Head of Defence Department Appointed

Prime Minister John Howard has announced the appointment of Dr. Allan Hawke as Secretary to the Department of Defence, replacing Mr. Paul Barratt who was sacked in controversial circumstances earlier this year.

In announcing the decision, Mr Howard said:

“Dr. Hawke has served effectively as Secretary to the Department of Transport and Regional Services since 1996 and, before that, as Secretary to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Dr. Hawke will bring to his new position not only experience at the Secretary level but also a sound knowledge of defence issues. From the mid-1980s he held a number of senior positions in the Department of Defence, culminating in his appointment as Deputy Secretary, Strategy and Intelligence, in the Department from 1991 to 1993.”

Dr. Hawke will take up his appointment on Thursday 21 October 1999 for a period of three years.

Departmental secretaries are an important aspect of the Australian political system. As the administrative
heads of government departments, they are responsible for the implementation of government policy and legislation, as well as the provision of advice to the government.

Dr. Hawke’s relationship with Defence Minister, John Moore, will be of interest to political observers, especially in the light of the rapid breakdown of relations with Mr. Barratt.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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