Immigration responds: no revolt against secretary on direction

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection denies senior staff walked because they were unwilling to support the rapidly changing organisation. But headquarters remains in flux.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection flatly denies claims that senior staff — including three deputy secretaries — have left the organisation because they were unwilling to support its new direction under the leadership of secretary Michael Pezzullo (pictured).

The claims were made by several credible sources who spoke to The Mandarin, but the suggestion that a significant number of staff are unhappy with many aspects of the merger process, the new leadership team and the new direction has circulated for months.

More information about the changing structure of the organisation, which has merged with the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, will be released later this month in a “Plan for Integration”, an update on the blueprint released last November.

A spokesperson confirmed that “a small number of senior executive staff have taken up opportunities at other agencies”. While the department did not confirm exactly which senior executives have left and whether anybody is currently acting in their roles, it didn’t deny deputy secretaries Elizabeth Cosson, Wendy Southern and Mark Cormack have all departed. The Mandarin understands another two division heads, including the chief lawyer, and at least two branch heads have also left.

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  • David Briggs

    If this story is true then hats off to the senior staff who have exercised their prerogative to resign rather than work under a highly political and partisan regime. Public servants have few options to voice their disapproval with poor public policy other than take the significant step to resign. Chapeau!