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New public service commissioner, electoral and stats chiefs named

A red tape cutter, industrial relations warrior and former Institute of Public Affairs director has been named the Commonwealth’s new public service commissioner.

John Lloyd will start his five-year term on Sunday, Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced today, replacing Stephen Sedgwick whose term was not renewed.

The Prime Minister said Lloyd brings “extensive public sector experience particularly in the areas of employment and workplace relations”. He thanked Sedgwick for his “long and distinguished contribution to the Australian public service”.

Lloyd has worked at the deputy secretary level in Canberra in a three-year stint at the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations. He’s been a senior deputy president at the Australian Industrial Relations Commission and head of the Australian Building and Construction Commission for five years, the contentions John Howard-era body abolished by Labor but due to be revived by the Abbott government.

He worked in Western Australia as CEO of the Department of Productivity and Labour Relations, and in Victoria as deputy secretary of the Department of Business and Employment. Most recently he was the red tape commissioner for the Victorian government.

For over a year he worked as an IR and productivity researcher for the IPA, a libertarian think tank close to the Abbott government.

He’s been awarded a Public Service Medal for his work in industrial relations and on the royal commission into the building and construction industry.

David Kalisch the new ABS chief

David Kalisch
David Kalisch

Meanwhile, after almost a year without a chief statistician, the federal government has appointed David Kalisch to the role. Kalisch will lead the Australian Bureau of Statistics for at least the next five years.

Treasurer Joe Hockey and parliamentary secretary Steven Ciobo said in a joint statement Kalisch offers “skills, experience and strong leadership” to “maintain the reputation of the ABS, and build the ABS of the future to be responsive to community, business and government needs for data and statistics”.

The government says a statement will be released early in the new year “outlining the government’s expectations about the role and responsibilities of the ABS, its relationship with the government, issues of transparency and accountability and operational matters”.

Kalisch has been CEO of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare since 2010. He’s been a deputy secretary at the Department of Health and Ageing in Canberra, held senior roles in the departments of Family and Community Services and Prime Minister and Cabinet, and worked as a commissioner at the Productivity Commission.

He’s had two appointments to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris and is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a public policy fellow at the Australian National University.

Jonathan Palmer has served as acting Australian statistician since Brian Pink’s term expired in January. Kalisch begins on Monday.

New AEC head, Gooda reappointed

In other appointments, Mick Gooda was yesterday reappointed as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social justice commissioner.

Tom Rogers, currently acting electoral commissioner, has been appointed to head the Australian Electoral Commission for the next five years. Rogers has been deputy commissioner at the AEC since 2012, and was previously the AEC’s state manager and Australian electoral officer for NSW. With a background in the Australian Army, Rogers has also served as executive director of the Australian Institute of Police Management.

Rogers’ appointment follows the retirement, earlier this year, of the former commissioner, Ed Killesteyn.

Author Bio

Jason Whittaker

Jason Whittaker is managing editor of The Mandarin based in Melbourne. He has written for and edited political, business and culture publications for a decade. He spent two years as editor of sister Private Media publication Crikey.