Liberals retain Edwards

A SENIOR bureaucrat who worked for the former Labor state government will stay on to work with the Liberals.

Rhys Edwards

Rhys Edwards

Department of Premier and Cabinet secretary Rhys Edwards held senior government roles throughout the 16-year reign of Labor and was expected to be paid out part of his contract by the new government.

It was announced in April that Mr Edwards, one of the highest earners in the public service on $411,723 a year, would be replaced by deputy secretary Greg Johannes from July 1.

However, a government spokesman said yesterday that ``outgoing head of premier and cabinet Rhys Edwards will continue to work with the state service on a reduced salary as a special adviser until 2018 - this is the year his existing head of agency contract was due to end.''

The adviser would not say what Mr Edwards' new income would be.

He said Mr Edwards would continue to advise the new government as it transitions and, in particular, with the establishment of the Department of State Growth.

Other than this he will assist the government in other ways such as the Energy Working Group chairman, he said.

Mr Edwards was made the head of DPAC in 2008 and was an economic adviser to former premier Jim Bacon and senior adviser to Paul Lennon.

The government paid out another two senior bureaucrats in April - Infrastructure, Energy and Resources Department secretary Norm McIlfatrick and Economic Development, Tourism and Arts secretary Mark Kelleher - to the tune of about $843,000.

Their five-year contracts were only renewed in January this year, two months before the state election.

Department of Health and Human Services secretary Matthew Daly, who was appointed in early 2012, was also expected to go under the new government but has since stepped into the role left by former Royal Hobart Hospital boss Jane Holden two weeks ago.

He will fill her role for six months but otherwise is understood to remain on a salary of $411,723 a year.

Ms Holden, who was sacked over allegations of nepotism, is expected to be paid out about $190,000 before tax.


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