Mr Philip Gaetjens
Secretary, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Mr Gaetjens commenced in the Secretary’s role on 2 September 2019.
Prior to this appointment, Mr Gaetjens was Secretary to the Treasury between 1 August 2018 and 30 August 2019.
Mr Gaetjens has more than 40 years’ experience in Commonwealth and State public sectors. He began as an Assistant Research Officer in the Bureau of Transport Economics in 1977 and progressed through the Department of Transport in its various incarnations working on land transport, aviation, telecommunications and government business enterprise reforms.
Mr Gaetjens was then seconded to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in 1991 before becoming a Senior Adviser in the Infrastructure Branch in 1993. During this time his principal responsibilities included electricity reform including the creation of the National Electricity Market.
In 1994 he was the Parliamentary Liaison Officer in the Australian Senate, assisting the Manager of Government Business programming legislation in that chamber.
Mr Gaetjens joined the South Australian Department of Treasury and Finance as Assistant Under Treasurer (State Enterprises) in 1995. He was charged with shaping a microeconomic reform agenda, including improving the governance and performance of State utilities. As Acting Deputy Under Treasurer in 1996, he managed the 1996-97 State Budget and oversighted three branches as well as playing a key role in structurally separating the State’s electricity utility.
Between 1997 and 2007, Mr Gaetjens was Chief of Staff to Treasurer the Hon Peter Costello MP, including a period in a dedicated Tax Unit to oversee the introduction and legislative passage of A New Tax System, in which the GST and other tax reforms were implemented.
Mr Gaetjens commenced 2008 as Chief Adviser, Competition and Consumer Policy Division in the Treasury. His focus was on competition policy and infrastructure issues, including membership of a cross-Government committee of officials on the National Broadband Network and supporting the Treasury Secretary as a member of the Broadband Panel of Experts.
In August 2008, he commenced an overseas posting as the inaugural Director of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Policy Support Unit in Singapore. The Unit was established to provide the APEC Secretariat and member economies with policy and research capability to further champion free and open trade and investment as well as the promotion and acceleration of regional economic integration.
After returning to Australia late in 2010, Mr Gaetjens returned to the Treasury in February 2011 as Secretary of the GST Distribution Review.
In August 2011, Mr Gaetjens was appointed to the position of Secretary of the New South Wales Treasury after an international search exercise and a merit selection process. While there, Mr Gaetjens was also a member of the advisory board of the NSW Commission of Audit (Schott Review), Secretaries Board, Chair of NSW Treasury Corporation and a board member of Infrastructure NSW.
After commuting to Sydney for four years, Mr Gaetjens returned to Canberra in July 2015 and after a short break was approached by the then Treasurer, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, to be his Chief of Staff and occupied that role between October 2015 and June 2018.
Mr Gaetjens holds a Graduate Diploma in Accounting from the University of Canberra and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Flinders University.