Ag secretary out: Paul Grimes represents ‘best traditions of impartiality’

Confusion remains as the federal government dumps a second Agriculture secretary, with Dr Paul Grimes falling victim to a difference of opinion with Barnaby Joyce.

Paul Grimes

Paul Grimes

Former ministers who worked with dismissed mandarin Paul Grimes have defended the former departmental secretary’s professionalism, impartiality and integrity, but there remains little clarity on why he was removed.

Dr Grimes was “terminated” as secretary of the Department of Agriculture on Friday after his current minister Barnaby Joyce said the pair agreed that “a relationship of strong mutual confidence …. was not a realistic prospect.”

Tony Burke, former Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities Minister, says his then-departmental secretary represented the highest public service ideals:

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