Canberra turmoil may not delay Screen Australia appointment

27 June, 2013 by Don Groves

Despite the ructions in Canberra, the new chief executive of Screen Australia may be announced within a month.

The process to appoint the CEO probably won’t be delayed as the board’s nominee for the position has been approved by Arts Minister Tony Burke and his opposition shadow Senator George Brandis, IF understands.


The Screen Australia Act stipulates the board has the right to make the appointment in consultation with the Arts Minister.

In practice, the Minister usually informs the Cabinet of the board’s recommendation. It’s considered highly unlikely that Cabinet would object, given the far higher priorities and challenges facing the Rudd government.

The board’s nominee, selected from about 90 applicants, will not have surprised the government as a senior Arts Department official was part of the board-appointed selection panel.

The incumbent Dr Ruth Harley’s five-year contract expires in November. “The smart money is on the appointment happening this side of the election, perhaps in the next month,” one Canberra-watcher told IF.

However all bets may be off if Rudd calls a snap election.