Are there any limits on where political party CEOs should finish their careers. Here’s a new Crikey list which suggests they never finish up in the public service.

The PM has formally announced the appointment of Liberal Party veteran Michael L’Estrange as head of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in a move that further politicises a once broadly independent public service.

In this wide-ranging press conference, the PM started with this announcement but only chose to highlight the following aspects of L’Estrange’s CV:

Michael L’Estrange has had a particularly meritorious period as High Commissioner in London. He’s won wide praise both here and in Great Britain for the work he’s done in further deepening the already very close relationship between Australia and the United Kingdom. He has a lot of previous experience in government including as head of the Cabinet Policy Unit after the election of the Coalition in March of 1996.

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Sadly, none of the hacks bothered to ask the obvious question about his Liberal connections. Crikey came across a former major party secretary recently who observed that he would never take a job in the bureaucracy after being in charge of running a political party.

It is one thing to work for a Minister but something else to actually be in charge of the operations of a political party. This is where the appointment of Michael L’Estrange is interesting because, whilst never a state or federal director, he did spend time as Executive Director of the Liberal Party’s Menzies Research Centre and a further five years as a senior adviser to successive Federal Liberal opposition leaders Andrew Peacock and John Hewson from 1989 through to 1994.

It makes for an interesting list to track what happens to former state and federal directors of the ALP and the Liberal Party and here is what our subscribers have helped put together so far:

The great political party CEOs list

Peter Batchelor – Victorian ALP state secretary and now Transport and Major Projects Minister

Michael Beahan – WA ALP state secretary then to the Senate

Peter Beattie – Queensland ALP state secretary to Premier

John Burston – NSW Liberal state director to deputy Federal Director

Jim Carlton – NSW Liberal director 1971-77, then Fraser’s last Health Minister, Howard’s shadow treasurer and then to The red cross

Lynton Crosby – Federal Liberal director to his own political consultancy Crosby Textor

Tony Eggleton – Federal Liberal director to chairman of CARE Aust

David Feeney – Victorian ALP state secretary then director of strategy for Steve Bracks

Gary Gray – ALP national secretary under Keating, now millionaire Woodside Petroleum executive

Petro Georgiou – Victorian Liberal state director, now uninspiring federal backbencher

John Halden – Labor MLC in WA, then WA state secretary, then lobbyist for CPR and his own shop

Terry Hampson – Queensland ALP state secretary to Brisbane City Council

Mike Kaiser – Queensland ALP state secretary to Federal assistant secretary

John Lenders – Victorian ALP state secretary, now Bracks’ Finance Minister

Roland Lindell – Victorian ALP state secretary now running Progessive Business fundraising arm

Stephen Loosely: NSW ALP general secretary, now Murdoch columnist and lobbyist for the likes of James Hardie

Brian Loughnane – Victorian Liberal director to Federal Director

Doug Lowe – Tasmanian ALP state secretary who went on to become Premier in the 1970s

Sue Mackay – Tasmanian ALP state secretary, now a Senator for Tasmania

Bob McMullan – WA state sec during the Burke years, to the Senate then the Reps

Cameron Millner – Queensland ALP state secretary to consultant

Nick Minchin – South Australian Liberal director to Federal Minister for Finance

Grahame Morris – SA Liberal director and deputy federal director, then Howard’s chief of staff, Murdoch lobbyist and now Jackson Wells Morris spindoctor

Scott Morrison – NSW Liberal state director, now on $350,000 a year Federal tourism gig

Remo Nogarotto – NSW state director to Chairman of Soccer Australia

Tony Nutt – NSW Liberal state director to Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister

Barry O’Farrell – NSW Liberal state director to Deputy Leader in NSW Lower House

David Price – the current Tasmanian ALP state secretary was an unsuccessful Senate candidate this year

Andrew Robb – Federal Liberal director, then Packer lobbyist, now in Parliament.

Stephen Smith – WA ALP state secretary, now senior Latham frontbencher

Wayne Swan – Queensland ALP state secretary to federal shadow Treasurer
Kath Venn – Tasmanian ALP state secretary then MLC

Geoff Walsh – ALP national secretary, now lobbyist with Gavin Anderson.

Patti Warne – Tasmanian state secretary and then federal Labor staffer

Ruth Webber – ALP WA assistant state secretary, then ALP Senator