Question: Chief Executive of the Department of Education


Mr GARDNER ( Morialta ) ( 14:57 ): My question is to the Premier. Why was Mr Tony Harrison moved from his role as Chief Executive of the Department for Education?

The Hon. J.W. WEATHERILL ( CheltenhamPremier) (14:57): Because I believe that it is important to allocate the talent that we have in the South Australian Public Service in the best way possible. My judgement was that Mr Harrison would be best suited to be placed in the position of chief executive of the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion. He has been for three years in the role of education.

An honourable member: A revolving door.

The Hon. J.W. WEATHERILL: I don't think three years is a revolving door. He was brought in at a difficult time to deal with the aftermath of the Debelle inquiry. I think he has assiduously applied the principles and recommendations of the Debelle inquiry such that we no longer see those types of issues arising as they were on a routine basis, so I think he has done an excellent job there.

He has also had to deal with the difficult issues associated with the Valentine inquiry, and I think his work there has taken the agency to a particular point in its existence. We now have the recommendation that gave us the opportunity to rethink a range of organisational structures. I had already had discussions with a range of chief executives about refreshing the service earlier in the year, and so I took the opportunity to reallocate him to another portfolio. I expect that he will continue to perform to an excellent standard.