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Top mandarin headhunted by new Labor government in South Australia

The Palaszczuk Government is losing one of its most effective senior mandarins with news that State Development and Infrastructure director-general Damien Walker has been poached by the new Labor Government in South Australia.

Apr 01, 2022, updated Apr 01, 2022
State Development and Infrastructure director-general Damien Walker is headed to Adelaide. (AAP/Dan Peled)

State Development and Infrastructure director-general Damien Walker is headed to Adelaide. (AAP/Dan Peled)

Mr Walker, one of the state’s better-regarded bureaucrats, will head up the department of new SA Premier Peter Malinauskus, who swept Labor to power in an election earlier this month.

Mr Malinauskus has purged the SA bureaucracy since becoming premier, sacking department heads from Premier and Cabinet and Health as he seeks to move the state on from the defeated Liberal government of Steven Marshall.

“These changes are about new leadership that will drive substantial long-term change and maximise each opportunity to deliver better services to South Australians,” he said in a statement.

It is understood Malinauskus phoned Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to inform her he had headhunted Walker.

Walker held several roles in the South Australian bureaucracy before moving to Queensland.

His smooth handling of the Gold Coat Commonwealth Games in 2018 is regarded one of his best achievements.

 

 

 

 

“Damien has a record of policy delivery and serious leadership of serious government agencies in a big jurisdiction on the east coast and I want Damien to bring that experience back to his home state of South Australia,” the Premier said.

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