Michael Costello (public servant)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Michael Costello
Secretary of the Department of Industrial Relations
In office
6 March 1992 – 27 May 1993
Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
In office
27 May 1993 – 8 March 1996
Personal details
Born Michael John Costello
Nationality Australia Australian
Spouse(s) Christine Wallace[1]
Occupation Public servant

Michael John Costello AO is a former senior Australian public servant and chief of staff to former Australian Labor Party politician Kim Beazley during Beazley's tenure as Leader of the Opposition from 1996 to 2001.[citation needed]

In 1992 Costello was appointed Secretary of the Department of Industrial Relations, where he stayed until 1993 when he was appointed Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).[2][3] In this role, he took a proactive position on Asia. In 1996 he and five other Australian Government departmental secretaries were summarily dismissed by the newly elected Howard Government in 1996 in what journalist Paul Kelly described in 2005 as "the greatest blood-letting upon any change of government since Federation".[4]

On leaving DFAT he became the CEO of ACTEW Corporation, the Australian Capital Territory’s electricity and water authority.[3]

In 2004 he was highly critical of Mark Latham for Labor's federal election defeat to the Howard Government.[5]

In 2008 he wrote a weekly column for The Australian supportive of Beazley and Labor's economic policies during the Hawke and Keating years.[6][7]

On 26 June 2010 Costello had a final column published in The Australian concerning the federal ALP's dumping of Kevin Rudd in favour of Julia Gillard. Costello downplayed the role of the factions and unions, arguing that "The truth is that the power of the factions and the unions has been steadily declining."[8]


Costello was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1996, in recognition of service to international relations, particularly in relation to the Cambodian peace settlement and the Chemical Warfare Convention.[9]


  1. ^ Raggatt, Matthew (11 June 2014). "Canberra's power couples - the cream of the crop". The Canberra Times (Fairfax Media). Archived from the original on 30 June 2014. 
  2. ^ Keating, Paul (26 May 1993). "APPOINTMENT OF EPARTMENTAL SECRETARIES" (Press release). Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Wilson, Trevor; Cooke, Graham, eds. (2008), "Chapter 5: Michael Costello, AO, Secretary, Foreign Affairs and Trade, 1993–1996", Steady Hands Needed: Reflections on the Role of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Australia 1979–1999, Australian National University, archived from the original on 17 February 2012 
  4. ^ Kelly, Paul (2005), "The Cunningham Lecture for the Australian Academy of Social Sciences", Occasional Paper Series 4 
  5. ^ Eastley, Tony (11 October 2004), "Michael Costello identifies Labor campaign mistakes", AM (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) 
  6. ^ Michael Costello, News Corp Australia, archived from the original on 3 April 2008 
  7. ^ Costello, Michael (8 December 2006). "New faces not enough". The Australian (News Corp Australia). 
  8. ^ Costello, Michael (26 June 2010). "Unions, factions don't deserve all credit". The Australian (News Corp Australia). 
  9. ^ Search Australian Honours: COSTELLO, Michael John, Australian Government, retrieved 23 January 2014 
Government offices
Preceded by
Graham Glenn
Secretary of the Department of Industrial Relations
1992 – 1993
Succeeded by
Peter Core
Preceded by
Peter Wilenski
Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
1993 – 1996
Succeeded by
Philip Flood