The Prime Minister has confirmed Rosemary Huxtable will remain in the secretary’s office at the Department of Finance on a more permanent basis.
Huxtable was promoted from deputy secretary for budgeting and financial reporting to act as head of the central agency when Jane Halton brought her long career at the top of the federal bureaucracy to an end in October.
The newest member of the Australian Public Service’s top tier went across to Finance in June 2013 after about 10 years at the Department of Health, one year before Halton made the same move.
Huxtable was the deputy secretary responsible for ageing and aged care, mental health and e-health for three years, after spending the previous seven years in senior roles related to Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann issued a statement of congratulations:
“Rosemary has done an outstanding job in the key role of Deputy Secretary Budget Group in Finance over the past three years and a half.
“She comes to this very senior and central role in Government with substantial experience not just in the Finance portfolio, but also across a range of social policy areas — in particular in health policy and administration.
“I very much look forward to working with Rosemary as we continue the important task of putting the Australian Government Budget on the strongest possible foundation and trajectory for the future.”
Her official Department of Finance bio notes she has contributed to nine economic updates so far, including three federal budgets, and that she was a “key player in significant health reforms” around Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and hospital financing.
Her work on Medicare reform earned her a Public Service Medal in 2005, and she has been a member of the Commonwealth’s senior executive service since 1993.
Huxtable has spent much of her career thinking about policy in the health and community services sector, including as a ministerial staffer and managing a private consulting business based in Western Australia.