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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.

The Axemen Cometh

This article appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on November 1, 1997.

It has stood the test of time as an insight into the Howard government’s approach to the public sector.

After serving as head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Max Moore-Wilton went on to be chairman of the Sydney Airport Corporation Limited.

Text of article from the Sydney Morning Herald.

They call him Max the Axe – and a lot more that’s not printable. With the help of other like-minded men, John Howard’s chief bureaucrat is radically changing the philosophy and practice of Australia’s public sector – and the role government plays in our lives. JODIE BROUGH and MICHAEL MILLETT report.

On his first day as the chief executive officer of the Maritime Services Board, Max Moore-Wilton drove into the building’s underground car park. There he encountered a uniformed man who stopped him from parking in the space closest to the lift. [Read more…]