While most attention (including ours) was focused on the stealth resignation of Labor frontbencher Stephen Conroy on Friday, two of the country’s most senior public servants also announced their resignations. Department of Finance boss Jane Halton called it a day, after decades in the upper echelons of the public service. She was the longest-serving of any current APS secretaries, and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann paid tribute to her work. “At all times I have very much appreciated Jane’s professionalism, competence and good humour,” he said. “Though it is fair to say that Senate estimates is more fun with Jane sitting next to you rather than on the other side of the table.”
Halton said it was time to give someone else a chance to run a federal department, but she didn’t give any other clues about what she would do next. She told staff:
“After nearly 15 years as a secretary, at the beginning of a term of government, having beaten my father’s record of time as a secretary (a personal milestone), and now with our reform program in place it is the right time to go.”
Clerk of the Senate Rosemary Laing also announced that she would be leaving her role, but with an extra long notice period — her last day will be in March next year. She’s been in the role for seven years and in the department for 26, starting as a researcher, according to our friends at The Mandarin.