Labor notes the announcement of Mr Simon Atkinson as the next Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development.
We note Mr Atkinson comes to the role after an extensive public service career as well as several years as Finance Minister Matthias Cormann’s Chief of Staff and a period as the Coalition’s Cabinet Secretary.
The Prime Minister’s announcement highlights that Mr Atkinson led the establishment of Infrastructure Australia during the previous Labor Government.
Labor reminds the Prime Minister that he only recently moved to abolish the $3.9 billion Building Australia Fund, which was established alongside Infrastructure Australia to finance capital investment for projects that had been positively assessed by Infrastructure Australia and were on its priority list.
Over the past six years, the Liberal National Government tried four times to abolish the $3.9 billion Building Australia Fund and neglected to use the Fund to invest in vital infrastructure across the nation.
Today’s announcement comes three and a half months after former Secretary Dr Stephen Kennedy was announced as the new Treasury Secretary, and over two months since Dr Kennedy departed the Department.
I enjoyed a constructive relationship with Mr Atkinson when I was a Minister within this portfolio in the previous Labor Government, and look forward to working with him as he takes on this challenging role.