Prime Minister - Hawke, Robert
Media Release - 10 February 1986
FOR MEDIA 10 February 1986
The Prime Minister announced that the Governor-General in
Council had today approved the following Public Service
Mr M. H. Codd, formerly Secretary, Department of Community
Services, has been appointed Secretary, Department of the
Prime Minister and Cabinet. Mr Codd has had extensive
experience in the Department of the Prime Minister and
Cabinet where he worked as a Deputy Secretary and Under
Secretary during the period 1978-1981. He has also been
Secretary, Department of Employment and Industrial Relations
and Chairman of the Industries Assistance Commission.
Mr Codd replaces Sir Geoffrey Yeend, AC, CBE, whose
prospective retirement from the Service was announced by the
Prime Minister last December.
Mr G. E. Rees, Deputy Secretary, Department of Community
Services, will be Acting Secretary of that Department until a
permanent appointment is made.
Mr R. M. Taylor, formerly Secretary, Department of Transport,
has been appointed Secretary, Department of Aviation in place
of Mr C. W. N. Freeland.
Mr Freeland has been appointed Secretary, Department of
Transport in place of Mr Taylor.
Mr G. L. Miller, Director of the Economic Planning Advisory
Council Secretariat, has been appointed Secretary, Department
of Primary Industry. Mr Miller was a Deputy Secretary in the
Department of Primary Industry prior to becoming Director of
the EPAC Secretariat in 1983. An announcement will be made
later on the assignment of Mr L. P. Duthie, formerly Secretary
of the Department of Primary Industry.
Mr D. W. Challen will be Acting Director of EPAC until a
permanent appointment is made. The position will be
Mr E. M. W. Visbord, OBE, formerly Deputy Secretary of the
Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, has been appointed
Secretary, Department of Employment and Industrial Relations.
Mr Visbord has had extensive experience in the economic and
financial fields in both the Treasury and the Department of
the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Dr M. S. Keating, Secretary of the Department of Employment
and Industrial Relations, is to be Secretary-designate of the
Department of Finance and will take up his position as
Secretary in approximately three months time, succeeding
Mr I. Castles, OBE. In the interim Dr Keating will be
available as an adviser to the Minister for Employment and
Mr Castles, who has been the Secretary of the Department of
Finance for more than seven years, has made it known to the
Government that he would welcome the opportunity of moving to
another suitable position at an appropriate time.
Mr Castles' placement will be announced in due course. In
the meantime, he will continue as Secretary, Department of
TELEX TO MEMBERS OF EPAC
DIRECTOR OF EPAC
The Government has decided that the present Director of
EPAC, Mr Geoff Miller, is to be appointed Secretary of the
Department of Primary Industry. In advising you of this
decision, I would like to explain the particular
circumstances that have led us with some reluctance to end
his present association with EPAC.
As you know, the rural sector is going through a
particularly difficult period. Consequently the Government
must take steps to ensure that rural policy and the
administration of Government services to farmers are managed
efficiently so as to help the rural sector recover and
position it to continue to contribute in a significant way
to national economic growth and export performance. As a
former Director of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics ( and
incidentally a former " Man of the Year" in Australian
Agriculture) and as a former Deputy Secretary of the
Department, Mr Miller has extensive experience of economic
issues and of administration in rural affairs.
Given the importance of national economic policy in relation
to the rural sector, Mr Miller's EPAC experience will also
be of considerable benefit, both in explaining the nature of
Government economic policies clearly in rural policy
discussions and in transmitting rural views on national
economic issues to the Government.
In taking this decision, I have had to give full weight to
the importance of the work being done in EPAC and to the
substantially improved output from the office in recent
times. I believe that Mr Miller has got the Office to the
stage of producing a good supply of top-rate papers for
Council's consideration and broader public discussion. That
success is reflected in the series of recently published
Council papers and in the extensive media coverage of many
important economic issues being considered by EPAC.
Nevertheless, the Office's morale and continuing capacity to
maintain this high standard are both matters of fine
balance. This is particularly so given that a number of
staff are contract employees. It is therefore, most
important we, as a Council, pay particular attention to
reinforcing the good work that our staff are now doing in
the period between Mr Miller's departure early this week and
the appointment of successor.
Mr Don Challen, one of the Office's Chief Economists will
act as Director until a new appointment is made. Mr Challen
has been working closely with Mr Miller for over 2 years and
has, on a number of occasions, acted as Director for short
periods. I have no doubt that he will be able to manage
Council's affairs capably until a permanent appointment is
made. The decisions will be advertised as soon as possible,
and every effort will be made to find the best available
candidate to carry on this important work.
As I have said, I have made this decision with some
reluctance, notwithstanding the fact that it constitutes a
promotion for Mr Miller. In no way should it be interpreted
as indicating any dimunition of the role of EPAC, or of the
significance that the Government attaches to it. As I said
to you at the dinner immediately prior to the December
meeting, I now believe that EPAC is beginning to make its
mark as a source of economic advice, and the Government
looks to the Council's contribution to be consolidated and
further extended in the years ahead.
R. J. L. Hawke