New Services Australia CEO Appointed

Today, the Albanese Labor Government has announced the appointment of senior, distinguished public servant David Hazlehurst as Services Australia’s newest CEO. 

Mr Hazlehurst joins the agency following the retirement of Services Australia’s inaugural CEO Rebecca Skinner PSM earlier this year.

Mr Hazlehurst has held senior roles in a public service career of over 30 years, including at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Industry and Innovation, Agriculture, Austrade and as the Digital Transformation Office’s Interim CEO. 

He has also contributed significantly to the Social Services portfolio in recent times as the head of both the myGov User Audit and NDIS Review Secretariat. 

Minister for Government Services the Hon. Bill Shorten MP, said that Services Australia has been central to the Government’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, natural disasters and the recent Robodebt Royal Commission. 

“Services Australia has responded to significant challenges and undergone a raft of changes since Labor came to government, including the conclusion of the Robodebt era of administration,” Minister Shorted said. 

“Mr Hazlehurst will be a steady hand to lead the agency through the next phase and I have full trust in his professionalism and ability to put our most vulnerable Australians first.

“I thank acting CEO Chris Birrer for his steadfast and passionate leadership in this important transitionary period, following Ms Skinner’s retirement.” 

Services Australia is the Commonwealth’s largest public service agency, employing over 30,000 public servants and administering close to $220 billion in Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support payments in 2022-23 alone. 

Minister Shorten said that the selection panel for Mr Hazlehurst’s appointment included a welfare advocate, the first time ever in the Social Services Portfolio. 

“Services Australia touches the lives of many Australians, particularly those who are facing difficult circumstances,” Minister Shorten said. 

“I am extremely proud that a welfare advocate, in former Chief Executive Officer of Economic Justice Australia, Ms Leanne Ho was included on the selection panel to ensure we got this appointment right.  

Mr Hazlehurst’s tenure as CEO will begin in early January.