Environment secretary to retire as Australia’s critics heat up


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Secretary of the Department of the Environment and Energy Finn Pratt will retire this month.

Finn Pratt

Pratt has been in the role since 2017, despite him being reappointed for a five-year term as head of the Department of Social Services in 2016.

Following international criticism of Australia’s climate change policies, Scott Morrison announced Pratt’s plan to step down on Monday afternoon, but did not reveal his replacement.

“Mr Pratt has had a remarkable public service career spanning 36 years, during which he has made a significant contribution to Australia’s domestic policy,” he said.

 “He has led and been responsible for delivering reforms in many areas. These include employment services, workplace relations, government service delivery, social policy, Indigenous affairs, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, aged care, childcare and welfare policy. Most recently, he has been responsible for energy, environment and climate change policy, including building Australia’s Antarctic capabilities.”


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Pratt was the Chair of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government from 2014 to 2017, and has also chaired the APS Talent Council, which was established in 2016.

Under Labor, he led the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services, the Department of Human Services, and Indigenous Affairs. He was also the Chief Executive Officer of Centrelink in 2008-2009.

Pratt was awarded a Public Service Medal in 2008 and in 2015 became an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service in public administration, social policy development and service delivery reform, and improving support for people with disability, their families and carers.

He will retire on 11 October.

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