Long-serving public servant David Hazlehurst is the new boss of Services Australia, following the recent retirement of inaugural chief executive officer Rebecca Skinner.
Government Services Minister Bill Shorten announced Mr Hazlehurst’s appointment and said the new CEO would take up the post early in January.
Describing Mr Hazelhurst as a “senior, distinguished public servant”, Mr Shorten said the incoming CEO had an impressive track record.
Over the past 30 years, Mr Hazlehurst has worked in senior roles at Austrade, as well as the departments of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Industry and Innovation, and Agriculture.
He was also the Digital Transformation Office’s Interim CEO.
Mr Shorten said Mr Hazlehurst had already “contributed significantly” to the social services portfolio in recent times as the head of both the myGov User Audit and NDIS Review Secretariat.
“Services Australia has responded to significant challenges and undergone a raft of changes since Labor came to government, including the conclusion of the Robodebt era of administration,” Mr Shorten said.
“Mr Hazlehurst will be a steady hand to lead the agency through the next phase. I have full trust in his professionalism and ability to put our most vulnerable Australians first.
“I thank acting CEO Chris Birrer for his steadfast and passionate leadership in this important transitionary period following Ms Skinner’s retirement.”
The selection panel for Mr Hazlehurst’s appointment included a welfare advocate.
“Services Australia touches the lives of many Australians, particularly those who are facing difficult circumstances,” Mr Shorten said.
“I am extremely proud that a welfare advocate, former chief executive officer of Economic Justice Australia Ms Leanne Ho, was included on the selection panel to ensure we got this appointment right.”
Services Australia is the Commonwealth’s largest public service agency, employing more than 30,000 public servants and administering close to $220 billion in Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support payments in 2022-23 alone.
Original Article published by Chris Johnson on Riotact.