New broom in Victoria: Eccles to replace Tongue at DPC

The election of a new government in Victoria has seen the state’s most senior bureaucrat walk. Premier and Cabinet secretary Andrew Tongue will be replaced by Chris Eccles.

Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet Secretary Andrew Tongue announced his resignation on Sunday, following the election of a new Labor government. Former New South Wales DPC director-general Chris Eccles will replace him.

A spokesman for Premier-elect Daniel Andrews told The Mandarin: “Mr Andrews respects Mr Tongue. Mr Tongue offered his resignation and Mr Andrews accepted it.”

Andrews’ office refused to comment on machinery of government changes, including the rumour that the incoming government would split up the Department of Environment and Primary Industries.

Tongue (pictured top) took up the top post in April 2013 once Denis Napthine took over the premiership from Ted Baillieu. He was previously secretary of the Department of Planning and Community Development.

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  • Ian Killey

    It is of great regret to the standards of the victorian public service that the head of the public service should feel it appropriate to resign on the day following the State election. Whether he did so at the instigation of the incoming Premier or for other reasons is not clear. But as the head of a service which has a long history of providing ( at least until relatively recently) robust free and frank impartial, apolitical services to the government of the day, his duty was to remain at his post.

    Moreover, if his resignation was instigated by the incoming premier, this speaks volumes for the low regard that Mr Andrews considers the public service that Mr Tongue led, and indicates a significant challenge for Mr Eccles and the public service as a whole.

    Ian Killey PSM