Australian Statistician David Gruen (Image: AAP/Daniel Munoz)

Last December, the Morrison government named Dr David Gruen as the Australian Statistician. It is turning out to be one of the better and most farsighted appointments this government and its predecessors have made.

Gruen was heavily tipped to lead the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) back in 2014 but, amid rumours his appointment was nixed because Tony Abbott’s office thought he was too independent-minded, David Kalisch from the Department of Health and the Institute of Health and Welfare got the gig. Readers will best remember Kalisch from the colossal 2016 census debacle.

Gruen is one of the foremost economists in the country -- in fact he is economics royalty. His father Fred was a well-known economist, specialising in agricultural economics. Brother Nicholas is a well-regarded private sector economist and analyst.