Treasury man fills top Rudd office spot

Kevin Rudd has announced Jim Murphy as his chief of staff. AAP/Alan Porritt

Kevin Rudd has chosen a senior Treasury official, Jim Murphy, to be his new chief of staff.

Rudd worked with Murphy, a deputy secretary whose job will concentrate on policy development and economic advice, during the global financial crisis.

The appointment of Murphy is in part an effort to reassure the business community, with whom he will liaise. Restoring better relations with business is one of Rudd’s priorities.

In Treasury Murphy has been executive director of the markets group, which oversees issues relating to financial systems, foreign investment, infrastructure, and corporations and capital markets.

A former chief political correspondent from News Ltd’s The Australian,Matthew Franklin, becomes a senior adviser, including doing strategic briefing of the parliamentary press gallery. Rudd first got to know Franklin when he was at Brisbane’s Courier Mail.

The new Team Rudd includes some returnees, as well as new faces. Fiona Sugden, who worked for Rudd when he was opposition leader and PM, will be director of communications, and Kate Sieper, with him when he was foreign minister, will be back on the media side. Tim Gleason is another old face who will work in the media office.

Long-term campaign strategist Bruce Hawker joins as political adviser.

Patrick Gorman, who went from the Rudd prime ministerial office and has stayed with him since, will be in charge of the travelling team as the campaign gears up.

The deputy chief staff will be Corri McKenzie, who has been in office of Families Minister Jenny Macklin.

Rudd has kept on Julia Gillard’s former senior media adviser Eamonn Fitzpatrick.

After a hectic round of domestic activity this week including talks with business and discussions on the Gonski school funding plan, Rudd spends the next two days in Indonesia trying to make progress on the vexed asylum seeker issue.

Tonight on the ABC he taunted Tony Abbott as he renewed his challenge to the opposition leader to have debates, including about debt and deficit, boats and the carbon tax.

“Mr Abbott, I think it’s time you demonstrated to the country you had a bit of a ticker on this,” Rudd said.

“He’s the boxing blue. I’m the glasses-wearing kid in the library.

"Come on, let’s have the Australian people form a view about whether his policies actually have substance, whether they actually work or whether they are just slogans”.