After Chris Barrett, the government’s initial choice for the position, withdrew his application, the Albanese administration has decided to replace him with Danielle Wood, a former economist who worked for the Productivity Commission.
Wood, who is now serving as the chief executive of the think tank Grattan Institute and is 43 years old, will become the first woman to head the commission in the commission’s century-long history of serving in various capacities in the government.
Barrett, who is currently serving as a deputy secretary in Victoria’s Treasury, was once appointed to serve as the head of the Productivity Commission. In the past, the Productivity Commission was responsible for determining the state’s economic growth. Barrett will now replace the void left by David Martine’s resignation as treasury secretary of Victoria, which was announced on Wednesday by the administration of the state. Martine’s departure was effective immediately. After Martine handed in her resignation from her job, he came to the conclusion that it would be best for him to remain in Victoria.
On Wednesday, the treasurer, Jim Chalmers, indicated that Ms. Wood is an excellent economist who will bring remarkable public policy abilities to the productivity commission. Her proven track record of leadership at the Grattan Institute, in addition to her innovative line of research, will make a substantial contribution to the overarching goal of the PC.
When the commission announced the nomination of Wood the year before, they claimed that the productivity rate in Australia had reached its lowest point in almost sixty years at the time. Wood’s nomination came shortly after this report. Philip Lowe, who is stepping down as governor of the Reserve Bank, has issued many warnings that modest improvements, or even decreases, in the output per hour worked would keep a lid on real wage increases without driving inflationary pressures. Lowe will stand down from his position in the coming months.
According to Wood, the commission is “an important institution that has a significant part to play in assisting Australia in coping with the major shifts that are currently taking place in the economy and looking for new ways to turn those shifts to our advantage.” Wood claimed that the commission was “looking for new ways to turn those shifts to our advantage.”
She expressed that it was an honor to return to the PC and a privilege to have the opportunity to lead it during such an important period. She also stated that it was a privilege to return to the PC. “The PC has been a hugely important organization to me personally,” she stated. “It’s a privilege to be returning, and it’s an honor to have the opportunity to lead it at such an important time.”
Wood was born and raised in Adelaide, and he received his undergraduate education in economics with honors from Adelaide University. Wood is currently working in the financial industry. After that, he went on to get a master’s degree in economics as well as a master’s degree in competition law from Melbourne University.
Her former roles include working as a senior PC research economist and as the primary economist at Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, where she also led merger investigations. Her experience also includes working for the Personal Computer Research Association. Additionally, she has served as the director of merger investigations in the past. Wood is not only the current president of the Economic Society of Australia, but she has also been a longtime advocate for the advancement of women who are employed in the field of economics.
Chalmers stated that Wood will start working in her new capacity “as soon as possible,” provided that she received clearance from the Governor General. In addition to that, he remarked that he wished Barrett the best of luck “with future endeavors.”