It is with great sadness that I learnt yesterday of the passing of Ted Evans AC. Ted was a giant of the Australian public service and respected far and wide. He was the Secretary of the Treasury from May 1993 to April 2001. In June 1999 Ted was made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in recognition of his service to economic policy development.
Ted Evans was an outstanding Australian. As former Prime Minister John Howard once said “Ted could never be accused of gilding the lily. He is a straight shooter who gives advice fearlessly and forcefully. He has lived up to the best ideals of the Australian Public Service.”
Ted joined the Treasury in 1968 and was subsequently posted by Treasury to the Organisation for Economic Co‑operation and Development (OECD) in Paris and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington. It was his powerful advocacy and intellectual leadership which was behind many of the key economic reforms in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. The floating of the dollar, the deregulation of the financial sector, labour market flexibility and the development and implementation of the goods and services tax were all shaped by Ted’s contributions.
His colleagues described him as calm, inquisitive and humble. But when he spoke he held the floor – his words were quiet, precise and frank, but also kind. His contribution to public policy and to the Australian Treasury is a legacy that will not be forgotten.
My thoughts are with his wife Judith and his children at this time.