Public service chiefs need trials before executions

Jack Waterford
By Jack Waterford
Updated June 5 2022 - 11:39am, first published 11:29am
From left: New PM&C secretary Glyn Davis, Mike Pezzullo, Phil Gaetjens, and Kathyrn Campbell.

Anthony Albanese needs some new departmental and agency leaders. The limitations of some of the existing ones are obvious. But the Prime Minister need not order some summary executions, as Tony Abbott, John Howard, Malcolm Fraser and Gough Whitlam did. Nights of the long knives often seem personal, sometimes vindictive, or in breach of the tradition of secure jobs. A patient, cautious Albanese can be moving with all deliberate speed on his primary agenda, leaving it to the new head of the service to visit the battlefield, shooting the terminally wounded, and applying balm to those of continuing value. Perhaps with a list of diplomatic vacancies in his back pocket.

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Jack Waterford

Jack Waterford is a former editor of The Canberra Times.