Monday, 23 February, 2009

Spy chief to become new head of ASIO

Michelle Grattan
February 22, 2009
('S chief spymaster is expected to become the nation's top spycatcher.David Irvine, director-general of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS), our overseas spying agency, is tipped as new head of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).

ASIO'S current chief, Paul O'Sullivan, a former foreign affairs adviser to John Howard, is to take up the job of high commissioner to New Zealand. This is a post Mr O'Sullivan was set to get some years ago, but other bureaucratic changes intervened to prevent it.

ASIO's tasks include counter-espionage, as well as gathering intelligence to head off other security threats.

Mr Irvine, 62, who has headed ASIS since 2003 and last year had his contract renewed, has had a distinguished foreign affairs career. He was ambassador to China in 2000-03 and also served as high commissioner to Papua New Guinea. Among his postings have been two in Indonesia.

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