Treasury secretary John Fraser to be replaced by Philip Gaetjens

Treasury secretary John Fraser to be replaced by Philip Gaetjens
Photoby Adz via Wikimedia Commons

John Fraser, the Federal Treasury Secretary, will resign from his position on July 31 after spending 3.5 years as the chief economic bureaucrat in Australia.

Mr Fraser was first given the job by then-PM Tony Abbott, having served under the last treasurer Joe Hockey and the current treasurer Scott Morrison.

The pending retirement of Mr Fraser was revealed by PM Malcolm Turnbull in a statement made to the media.

Of Mr Fraser, Mr Turnbull said that he has “led Treasury to new heights”, citing particular progress in the areas of “corporate and personal income tax reform”.

Mr Turnbull went on to say that Mr Fraser “strongly supported” Government approaches to “help repair the budget”. He also said that he has acted as “a trusted adviser” to himself as well as the Treasurer and related ministers regarding “economic matters”.

Mr Turnbull then thanked Mr Fraser for “his service to the Australian community and our economy”.

The Prime Minister also said that his recommendation to have Philip Gaetjens replace Mr Fraser had been accepted by the Governor-General.

Mr Gaetjens served as the secretary to the NSW Treasury between the years of 2011 and 2015. He previously served as a senior executive working for the Commonwealth Treasury as well as the Department of Prime Minister and the SA Department of Treasury and Finance.

Mr Turnbull noted that Mr Gaetjens had recently left his position as chief of staff for Scott Morrison, a role that was also held with the former treasurer, Peter Costello.

Labor was quick to criticise the new appointment, making the claim that the Liberal party, and Mr Morrison especially, were politicising the Treasury.

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen said that Mr Morrison “did not bother to consult with the Opposition” regarding the new appointment. He said that the Treasury was “a fine institution that deserves the best people” and not “constant politicisation” by Mr Morrison.