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32 responses to “Ken Henry resigns”

  1. Bella

    All I can say is “Yikes! Was he pushed or shoved?” And won’t the Treasury Deputy Secretaries be pissed about being overlooked for the position?

  2. Doug

    Likely Ken Henry went because he wanted to – ten years in the job I reckon was probably enough and he does have other interests. Also to be noted is that the Secretary of HAHCSIA Jeff Harmer has is also resigning. He certainoy went of his own accord.

    Treasury will not be upset – Martin Parkinsom was from Treasury before he got the climate change gig.

  3. Bella

    Doug, I suspect Treasury will be mortified that Ken is leaving. He had cult hero status there. Dr Parkinson has very big shoes to fill!

  4. hannah's dad

    Well, the Libs would have sacked him after the next election anyway.
    A bit too competent and ethical for them.

  5. p.a.travers

    Do we live in the same country!?

  6. Doug

    My comment related to the views of Dep Secs in Treasury over not getting the job.

  7. FDB

    “Do we live in the same country!?”

    Good question!

    I think.

    Wait, what?

  8. Katz

    “Do we live in the same country!?”

    How many dimensions does this question have?

    */head explodes/*

  9. joe2

    I suspect our loss will be a gain for the hairy-nosed wombat.

  10. Mercurius

    @4 HC – Well, the Libs appointed him in 2001. And re-appointed him in 2006.

    Given Henry’s substantial and important tax review was largely ignored by the current government, and the bits that were taken up (RSPT, anyone?) were then sent to Coventry, I’d say Ken Henry got sick of casting pearls before swine. I don’t blame him.

  11. Bella

    I agree with Mercurius. The seeds of discontent would have been sown with the Government’s response to his review of tax and its subsequent handling of the mining tax.

    Doug, I think Parkinson has the makings of a great Treasury Secretary but that doesn’t mean their aren’t sour grapes amongs the other contenders for the job!

  12. patrickg

    Doug, I suspect Treasury will be mortified that Ken is leaving. He had cult hero status there.

    I don’t they would be mortified, lol. The man has been in the job for +10 years, and he’s not dying of cancer. I think someone’s been having some hyperbole honey on their crumpets.

    Henry did a very good job. A legacy anyone could be proud of.

  13. Bella

    PatrickG, I kid you not. There is a “I love Ken Henry” site. The guy really did have a cult following!

  14. Baraholka

    Pearls before swine.

    Ken Henry got sick of dealing with juveniles who disprespected, misused and were not particularly interested in his work beyond transient assistance it might offer their electoral prospects…and then having to front Parliamentary Committees made up of aforementioned juveniles who tried to leverage his work into their schoolyard slanging matches.

    HD @4
    The Libs would have kept him on.
    The Managers of the State need ppl around who know what’s going on even while they distort and misuse the work and intellect those ppl

  15. Chris Grealy

    I see the conservatives are reading Henry’s mind and letting us know he’s disgusted with the Labor Government. Isn’t it wonderful that we have Turnbull to tell us how Mr Henry really feels and thinks?
    He can read YOUR mind too, you know.

  16. Patricia WA

    Hadn’t he signalled this some time back? I seem to recall reading somewhere that Henry was planning his retirement even before the mining tax fell apart. I’m no insider, but I don’t sense this as a falling out with the current mob, but rather a pretty rounded human being who has plans for his life beyond the public service.

    We should be so lucky if he had ideas about politics? In my dreams, perhaps.

  17. Bella

    Chris Grealy, he may only have a doctorate from New Zealand but it’s still Dr Henry!

  18. Cuppa

    I see the conservatives are reading Henry’s mind and letting us know he’s disgusted with the Labor Government. Isn’t it wonderful that we have Turnbull to tell us how Mr Henry really feels and thinks?
    He can read YOUR mind too, you know.

    And the conservatives are using their media arm to tell “why” Dr Henry is retiring.

    Their ABC:

    ‘Reckless policy’ led to Henry resignation

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/12/21/3098647.htm?section=justin

    However would the public be able to think for themselves without the good old ABC?

  19. Lloyd

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/12/21/3098647.htm

    Seriously why do our taxes pay for this partisan crap.

    Liberal party talking points brought to you bu our ABC.

  20. Paul Burns

    If Malcolm can read Dr. Ken Henry’s mind how come he couldn’t read Tony Abbott’s way back when, or doesn’t Tony Abbott have a mind?

  21. whoopsy

    Yes he did a great job both with the Libs and then the ALP.
    The best example of fiscal stimulus and fiscal consolidation we have seen in the Western World.

    I notice Judith Sloan who gets blonder with each birthday slanders Bernie Fraser.

    Apparently a person who is around when the Budget gets back into surplus with significant changes in expenditure ( See Peter Walsh) is soft on fiscal policy.

    Apparently the person who put interest rates up in 1995 is soft on monetary policy and then cut them AFTER the election in 1996 was a labour hack.

    Another great example of accuracy from the Catallaxy crowd

  22. David Irving (no relation)

    Well spotted, PB!

  23. Flann O'B

    So Malcolm Turnbull thinks Ken Henry is resigning because he can’t stand the Government’s ‘reckless’ approach to the NBN. Hardly.

    After all, Henry didn’t resign after Malcolm Turnbull and John Howard’s $10 billiom Murray-Darling package, which wasn’t even put before Cabinet or costed by Treasury let alone given a business case. The Member for Wentworth must think we all came down in the last shower.

  24. Paul Burns

    DI (nr) @ 21,
    Its a pleasure. And I mean it.

  25. Katz

    Ken Henry resigned when he realised that he could not have as great an impact on Australian life as Godwin Grech.

  26. Nana Levu

    It will not only be Treasury that will miss Dr henry. As I left DEEWR the only thing I valued was the photo of Dr Henry, and attendant wombat, that I have brought with me into retirement.
    His speeches on measures of wellbeing, the environment, Indigenous development such as http://www.treasury.gov.au/documents/1275/HTML/docshell.asp?URL=070624_CYI.htm and as a follower of Amartya Sen are all available on the Treasury website. http://www.treasury.gov.au/contentlist.asp?classification=54&titl=Speeches&ContentID=515

    Hope he does more writing and teaching. He could become a leader of a social movement. Doubt we have heard the last of Dr Ken Henry.

  27. Mercurius

    I see the conservatives are reading Henry’s mind and letting us know he’s disgusted with the Labor Government.

    Well, Chris, it was my talking point before it was the conservatives’ talking point! Disgust with the government of the day is the lot of all senior public servants. But eventually it wears even the best and brightest down, I’m sure. Like the Julian calendar, even conservatives can be right once every four hundred years or so 😀

    A good mate of mine was one of Dr Henry’s high-school teachers. He (the teacher) tells me that even back then, folks could see young Ken Henry had the potential to make a significant contribution to the nation.

  28. David Coles

    Thanks Ken Henry. You did a great job and it has been appreciated. Enjoy your retirement and, if you show your normal judgment, you will now just pick things to do that are worth something to you.

  29. Doug

    Beyond all the analysis about politically related implications and motivations of Henry’s retirement how about this – he was tired of the job and wanted to do something else that he was interested in and where he had some control over his life.

    Same thing applied to Jeff Harmer from FaHCSIA who announced his retirement yesterday.

  30. derrida derider

    Both Harmer and Henry indicated some time ago that they would not be seeking to renew their contracts when they expired in early 2011 (BTW, neither will actually resign – the headline is inaccurate).

    While Mercurius is right that the normal attitude of senior public servants to pollies of all stripes is disdain (they see too much of them at close quarters, and Disraeli’s line about sausages and politics comes to mind), there were persistent whispers among insiders BEFORE the eponymous tax review that it would be Henry and Harmer’s last hurrah, and that’s exactly why both agreed to take it on.

  31. p.a.travers

    Sorry for too many dimensions,but I have a brother who lives in and near a school Henry may have went to.Or at least a road where his father may have went down.And took his chainsaw.My father had to use a sledgehammer to keep rails and sleepers together.I wasn’t served by Henry at all,accept he was government and they tend to moralise about how important they are.So it was my old sparring partner AnonymousLefty at his site tonight who shows the State Government decadence to especially young male passengers.I am ashamed of this.My father wouldn’t want this.I feel like going back to Melbourne with a baseball bat,and slugging it out with these full time workers who never take bloody holidays in the clink.Henry resided in his time over the ALP and obviously didn’t take much notice on the attacks on the young around rail systems.Arsehole Economist with dad the chainsaw wielder.

  32. Rose Graham

    Thanks Ken Henry. You did a great job and it has been appreciated. Enjoy your retirement and, if you show your normal judgment, you will now just pick things to do that are worth something to you.