She’s had a rough few months on the job, but Gillian Triggs won’t have to worry about that for much longer after prime minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the government won’t be renewing her contract as Human Rights Commissioner.
Ms Triggs has faced criticism from the Government on a number of issues, particularly her views on offshore immigration detention, and it looks like the PM has had enough.
Speaking to radio station 2GB, Mr Turnbull noted that Ms Triggs was hired by the Gillard government and was not his own choice for the high-profile role.
“People cannot expect to have their terms renewed,” Mr Turnbull said.
“In an office like this you serve your term and sometimes if people want to have it renewed it might be renewed.
“But in this case there will be a new president of the Human Rights Commission.”
Ms Triggs had become somewhat of a sore point for the government of late, slamming the treatment of refugees in detention on Manus Island and Nauru and supporting the United Nations’ report claiming Australia was mistreating asylum seekers.
Last month, she admitted to telling a journalist some politicians were uneducated and ill-informed, despite initially denying the comments in a Senate Estimates Committee hearing.
So has the government made the right call, or is this a personal attack on Ms Triggs for her outspokenness?
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has tried to play down reports the government’s treatment of Ms Triggs will deter others from applying for the position.
“I think in the end, people create a rod for their own backs or they create opportunity in these positions,” he said.
“They are highly paid positions; they come with a great deal of responsibility.
“People need to conduct themselves in accord with the high office that they occupy.”