Spence hands federal transport department reins to Atkinson


New top mandarin arrives after senior roles with Treasury and Cormann

Spence hands federal transport department reins to Atkinson
Pip Spence

 

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development has had a change of leader.

Simon Atkinson, currently a deputy secretary in the Treasury, takes the new role from acting secretary Pip Spence today.

"He has held extensive senior roles in the Infrastructure and Regional portfolios – including leading the establishment of Infrastructure Australia – as well as in the Departments of Defence and Finance," prime minister Scott Morrison says.

"He served as Cabinet Secretary from 2017 to 2018 and as a ministerial adviser from 2013 to 2016."

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has congratulated Atkinson on his promotion.

"Mr Atkinson’s prior experience in senior leadership positions across several departments and agencies - including Infrastructure and Regional Development – will allow him to hit the ground running," ALC CEO Kirk Coningham says.

"In particular, Mr Atkinson’s experience in the establishment of Infrastructure Australia means he will acutely understand the importance of long-term planning beyond political cycles in order to deliver the quality freight infrastructure and regulatory reforms Australia needs to deal with its increasing population and a growing freight task."

"ALC looks forward to working with Mr Atkinson on key deliverables from the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, particularly the design of the National Freight Data Hub, establishing a cohesive set of National Planning Principles and benchmarking the performance of key import and export supply chains to better inform infrastructure investment and enhance Australia’s international competitiveness."

"ALC also takes this opportunity to sincerely thank Pip Spence PSM for her strong support of ALC’s activities during her period as acting secretary over the months leading up to Mr Atkinson’s appointment today."

Labor shadow transport minister Catherine King notes Atkinson’s time as finance minister Mathias Cormann’s chief of staff and that the move comes "three and a half months after former Secretary Dr Stephen Kennedy was announced as the new Treasury Secretary, and over two months since 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," King says.

 

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