Wilkins out at A-G’s, sixth secretary gone under Abbott

Attorney-General’s Department secretary Roger Wilkins will leave the Commonwealth ranks, the sixth departmental head to go under the Abbott government.

Changes to the public service under the Abbott government continue, with the head of the Attorney-General’s Department Roger Wilkins set to stand down when his tenure finishes at the end of this month.

Wilkins was reportedly a surprise survivor of “the night of the short knives” last year that saw the incoming Abbott government dispose of several department heads perceived as being too close to Labor — or who worked in policy areas on which the Coalition has differing views to Labor: Andrew Metcalfe of Agriculture, Don Russell from Industry, Blair Comley at Energy, as well as slow-bleeding Treasury’s Martin Parkinson.

He becomes the sixth department chief to leave or be sacked since the Abbott government came to power, following David Tune’s departure from Finance.

Though seen as an apolitical, “old-style” public servant, Wilkins was known to have had long working relationships with both Kevin Rudd and Bob Carr, helping Rudd set up the Council of Australian Governments.

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