12 July 2018

Resignation of Mr John Fraser as Secretary of Treasury


As Treasurer I would like to thank and pay tribute to Mr John Fraser for his leadership as Secretary of the Department of Treasury for the last three and a half years.

Since his appointment in January 2015, Mr Fraser has provided exemplary leadership and advice on economic and financial issues. In this capacity, John has served as a member of the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia, a member of the Australian Council of Financial Regulators and Chair of the G20 Global Infrastructure Hub. He also provided strong leadership within the Council of Federal Financial Relations Heads of Treasuries group. Mr Fraser's tenure served to enhance the reputation of the Treasury within the public service and the wider Government.

John has built a strong and respected senior executive team, and has taken a keen interest in recruiting great talent into Treasury. John has also significantly upgraded the Treasury's liaison programme with business and the broader economy, with a particular focus in rural and regional areas. In this context, John drove the expansion of Treasury's presence outside of Canberra to both attract new officers with a business background into Treasury and ensure Treasury was more plugged into what was happening in the wider economy.

John Fraser's return to public service followed a distinguished career in the private sector, including as Chairman and CEO of UBS Global Asset Management from late 2011 to 2013. His private sector experience was invaluable to the Government across a broad policy agenda, including in relation to budget repair, tax reform, infrastructure financing and financial sector stability.

As Treasurer, I thank Mr Fraser for his dedicated public service and I wish him and his wife, Julie, all the very best for the future.

I also welcome the appointment of Mr Philip Gaetjens as the new Secretary of the Department of the Treasury. Mr Gaetjens brings significant experience to his appointment.

Mr Gaetjens has experience in Commonwealth and State public sector leadership roles, including as Secretary of the New South Wales Treasury between 2011 and 2015, and previously served in the Commonwealth Treasury as a senior executive. He also held senior executive positions in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the South Australian Treasury and Finance Department. Internationally, Mr Gaetjens served as the inaugural Director of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Policy Support Unit in Singapore during 2008-2010.

In addition to serving as my own Chief of Staff, he also performed this role for Treasurer Peter Costello. In each of these roles he has been directly involved in the preparation of 11 federal Budgets.

I look forward to working with him again in his new role.