14 March 2024

Treasury Secretary Steven Kennedy to be re-appointed for five more years

| Andrew McLaughlin
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Jim Chalmers & Steven Kennedy

Treasurer Jim Chalmers has recommended Treasury Secretary Steven Kennedy be extended for a further five-year term. Photo: Jim Chalmers Facebook.

Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers has recommended to the Prime Minister that Treasury Secretary Steven Kennedy be re-appointed for a further five years when his current term expires in September.

Mr Chalmers used his address to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) in Sydney today to make the announcement, saying he had enjoyed working with Mr Kennedy for almost two years since winning office.

“I thank and pay tribute to my Liberal predecessor for appointing someone of Steven’s calibre, someone who has served both sides of politics with diligence and distinction,” he said.

“Ours is a very effective partnership. He represents the very best traditions of the Treasury and the Australian Public Service more broadly.

“And I look forward to the opportunity to work with him for longer.”

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Mr Kennedy was appointed Treasury Secretary for a five-year term in September 2019.

Prior to this, he had a distinguished public service career as Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development.

He has also served as Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet; Deputy Secretary of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science; Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Environment; Deputy Secretary of the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency; and the Head of Secretariat of the Garnaut Climate Change Review – Update 2011.

He has served on a number of boards and is a member of the Reserve Bank Board, Council of Financial Regulators, Trans-Tasman Council on Banking Supervision, Board of Taxation, New Zealand Treasury Board, the Sir Roland Wilson Foundation, and the Centre for Market Design Advisory Board.

Mr Kennedy was awarded a Public Service Medal in 2016 for outstanding public service in the area of climate change policy.

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The announcement comes weeks before the 2024 Federal Budget, and in the wake of Mr Kennedy’s and Treasury’s advice to Mr Chalmers and the Prime Minister on a way forward for the government’s re-jigged Stage 3 tax cuts.

Mr Chalmers recalled a meeting he had with Mr Kennedy shortly after Labor won government in 2022 in which they were able to map out a plan to return the budget to surplus in just three years.

“I haven’t said this publicly before, but it was back then that we first talked about shooting for a surplus in the first term,” Mr Chalmers said. “With some genuine restraint we believed we could get there.

“Steven brought with him big swathes of briefing, and it was exciting after a long campaign and even longer in opposition to be getting amongst the real work not even a full day since the polls closed.

“Thinking back now and recalling that discussion, it’s quite remarkable how much progress has been made on the issues we discussed that day – while I mainlined black coffee and him black tea.”

Original Article published by Andrew McLaughlin on Riotact.

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