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Former immigration chief takes top health job

The bureaucrat charged with implementing Australia’s controversial hardline refugee policy has been appointed to head the Commonwealth Health Department.

The Federal Government has announced that Martin Bowles, who has led the Department of Immigration and Border Protection since January 2013, will succeed Jane Halton as Health Department Secretary.

Since joining the Federal public service in 2003, Mr Bowles has worked in the education, defence, climate change and immigration portfolios.

But before that, he had been an experienced bureaucrat in the New South Wales health system, including stints with the Richmond Health Service, the Central Regional Health Authority, the Northern Rivers Health Service, Prince of Wales Hospitals, Sydney.

Immediately prior to joining the federal public service, he was Chief Executive Officer of the Wentworth Area Health Service.

Adrian Rollins