Kathryn Campbell, Australia’s $900,000-a-year civil servant, resigns from Defense job after condemning Robodebt findings
- Campbell was suspended without pay last week
- Defense Department confirmed resignation Monday
Chief public officer Kathryn Campbell quit her $900,000 a year job following the fallout from the royal commission of debt robbery.
Campbell, who oversaw the implementation of the illegal earnings averaging scheme as secretary for the Department of Human Services, was removed from her job as a defense consultant just three days after Commissioner Catherine Holmes filed her report.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the royal commission’s findings were “very clear on the flaws” and confirmed that Campbell had been suspended without pay.
Chief Public Officer Kathryn Campbell quit her $900,000 a year job following fallout from royal robodebt commission
In a brief statement on Monday, Defense confirmed that she had left her job as an adviser to AUKUS.
“The defense can confirm that it has accepted Ms. Kathryn Campbell’s resignation from the Department effective Friday, July 21, 2023,” the statement said.
“The defense will not provide further comment on this matter.”
Ms. Campbell served as Secretary of the Department of Human Services from March 2011 to September 2017 before being promoted to lead the Department of Social Services and then Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Labor abandoned her after her election victory in May last year, but then handed her the $900,000 a year job on the AUKUS security pact at the Defense Department last June.
When asked about the appointment in Senate Estimates last month, Foreign Minister Penny Wong said the decision was made before the royal commission began and that the evidence that emerged during the hearings was “beyond what I anticipated.”
Commissioner Catherine Hayes SC, a former Queensland Chief Justice, delivered her findings in a three-volume document of more than 900 pages in early July.
Ms Campbell was singled out in the report’s findings, with the royal commission criticizing the public servant for repeatedly failing to act on flaws in the plan.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the royal commission’s findings were “very clear on the flaws” and confirmed that Ms Campbell had been suspended without pay.
“Ms Campbell had been in charge of a department that had established, implemented and maintained an illegal programme,” the royal commission report said.
‘When he was exposed to information that exposed the illegality of income averaging, he did nothing of substance. When presented with the opportunity to obtain advice on the legality of that practice, he did not act.’
During cross-examination in the royal commission, Ms Campbell denied that she had intentionally misled the government.
‘I have never been in a department that sought to deceive. And I have never been involved in an operation that has sought to deceive the government,’ he said.