Leadership instability: opposition calls for ‘extreme caution’ over public sector appointments

By The Mandarin

Wednesday August 22, 2018

As the government announces the next chief executive of NBN Co, the opposition has cautioned against making more appointments in the current climate of leadership instability.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has written to Malcolm Turnbull asking that no more public sector appointments be made during the latest political turmoil.

Shadow Treasury spokesperson Chris Bowen seized the opportunity to link the possibility of a new prime minister to claims of politicised appointments. He told journalists at a press conference late this morning that his portfolio had already seen politicised appointments under Turnbull’s leadership. The government should exercise “extreme caution” on making more appointments this close to an election, he warned.

“We have grave concern about the politicisation the government has embarked upon over senior appointments in recent weeks. Chaos and dysfunction are at the heart of the Turnbull government,” he told the media conference.

New NBN boss

One long-anticipated appointment has been the chief executive role at NBN Co, with Bill Morrow’s replacement named today ahead of his departure in September — but the government should have waited a bit longer, Labor claims.

The current chief financial officer, Stephen Rue, will be appointed to the roles of CEO and executive director.

Communication Minister Mitch Fifield and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, who both reportedly voted for Malcolm Turnbull in yesterday’s leadership spill, announced the appointment this morning, after going on airwaves to declare the prime minister had the party’s full support.

The shareholder ministers paid tribute to Morrow for his four years at NBN Co.

Dr Kerry Schott and Shirley In’t Veld have both been reappointed as non-executive directors of the government enterprise for a further term of three years.

READ MORE: APS in de facto caretaker mode as speculation swirls over secretaries

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