Organisational structure

Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) structure


Our workforce

Our small dedicated workforce of approximately 40 people makes preparing high quality policy costings, research and an election commitment report possible.  To successfully undertake robust analysis, operate independently and have transparent processes we have staff with unique and diverse skills and experience.

These include expertise in:

  • economics
  • modelling, data analysis and programming
  • fiscal policy analysis
  • statistical analysis
  • corporate service delivery.

PBO panel of expert advisors

On 21 December 2017, a panel of expert advisors was established to ensure that our work is of the highest analytical quality, is well considered and draws upon expertise from a range of sources.  The panel is responsible for providing expert advice, on an as-needs basis, on matters related to policy costings and our fiscal policy analysis program.

The role of panel members includes:

  • providing views on the PBO fiscal policy analysis program, including on how these products  can be presented to most usefully inform the public debate
  • providing input into the scope of individual pieces of research and reviewing draft reports
  • providing feedback on the guidance and technical material the PBO releases publicly to inform parliamentarians and the public on matters associated with costings and fiscal policy
  • providing expert advice on specific issues to improve the PBO’s understanding of policy issues, including behavioural responses, and better inform the development of models to cost policy proposals
  • assisting with the ex-post evaluation of policy costings
  • referring the PBO to other experts who would be available to assist with specific matters, as required.

The panel has experience across a broad range of areas, and is available to be consulted on cross-cutting issues associated with policy costings and fiscal policy analysis.

The panel is comprised of:

Paul Abbey

Paul Abbey is a Partner in the International Tax and Transaction Services group of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).  He has experience in tax due diligence, acquisition structuring, capital raisings and initial public offerings.  The focus of his work is on issues surrounding consolidation, imputation, capital returns, taxation of trusts, international tax, and PwC's Tax Reform project.

Robert Breunig

Professor Robert Breunig is the Director of the Tax and Transfer Policy Institute at the ANU and held the role of Acting Director of the Crawford School of Public Policy in 2015–16.  Professor Breunig has worked in a number of important public policy areas including: the relationship between child care and women’s labour supply; the effect of immigration to Australia on the labour market prospects of Australians; and the intergenerational transmission of disadvantage.

Robert Carling

Robert Carling is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies.  He specialises in areas of fiscal policy, taxation and federalism.  He has been Executive Director, Economic and Fiscal at the New South Wales Treasury and worked at the Australian Government Treasury, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Melinda Cilento

Melinda Cilento is the Chief Executive of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia.  She has a number of other roles including being a non-executive director of Australian Unity and Co-Chair of Reconciliation Australia.  She was previously a Commissioner with the Productivity Commission, and has held senior roles in the Business Council of Australia, the Treasury, Woodside Petroleum, Invesco and the International Monetary Fund.

David Crowe (President of the Federal Parliament Press Gallery)

David joins the PBO panel of expert advisors in his role as president of the Federal Parliament Press Gallery.  David is also the chief political correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age and a regular commentator on national affairs on the ABC’s Insiders program, Radio National and the Nine Network.  In a career spanning 25 years, he has covered federal politics as the national affairs editor of The Australian and the chief political correspondent of The Australian Financial Review. Before this, he worked as a business reporter in Sydney and Silicon Valley.

Saul Eslake

Saul is an independent economist and Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellow at the University of Tasmania.  He has held senior roles in financial markets, including as Chief Economist of the Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) and as Chief Economist (Australia and New Zealand) for Bank of America Merrill Lynch.  He also held the role of Director of the Productivity Growth Program at the Grattan Institute.

Caralee McLiesh

Caralee is the Chief Executive and Secretary to the New Zealand Treasury.  Caralee's previous role as Managing Director at Technical and Further Education (TAFE) New South Wales (NSW), Australia, saw her lead the transformation of TAFE NSW to become a more modern, competitive and sustainable organisation.  From 2008-2018, Caralee held several Deputy Secretary roles at the NSW Treasury, where she led the development of State Budgets advised the Treasurer and government agencies on fiscal and economic policy, coordination of the Budget and state sector accounts, taxation, intergovernmental relations, and balance sheet management.


Andrew Murray

Andrew Murray is a Rhodes Scholar, veteran, and former Senator for Western Australia (from 1996 to 2008), during which time he focused on a variety of tax, finance, economics and business issues; on accountability, governance and electoral reform; and on institutionalised children.  His publications include the June 2008 Review of Operation Sunlight: Overhauling Budgetary Transparency and 2011 Budgets and Finance: Sunlight and the Dark Arts.  Andrew chaired the Western Australian Regional Development Trust from 2010 to 2014 and served as a Commissioner on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse from 2013 to 2017.

Su-Lin Ong

Su-Lin Ong is a Managing Director, Chief Economist and Senior Relationship Manager of RBC Capital Markets.  She has led the Economics and Fixed Income Strategy team for AU/NZ since 2010 and was Head of AU Research from 2015 to 2019.  She sits on the Women in Banking & Finance board, is an Executive member of The Australian Business Economists and an ambassador for the RBA’s Women in Economics initiative.  Su-Lin has also worked as an economist for Hambros Bank and at the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet.

A.Abigail Payne

Professor A.Abigail Payne is the Director of the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic & Social Research and holds the Ronald Henderson Professorship.  Professor Payne’s research focuses on empirical public economics issues, including how government policy affects spending and performance.  Her research in education has focussed on the drivers of decisions to attend post-secondary education and understanding gender differences in educational attendance and performance..

David Tune AO PSM

David Tune is the Chair of the Aged Care Sector Committee which advises the Government on aged care policy development and implementation and helps to guide the future reform of the aged care system.  He has held many senior positions in the Australian Public Service, including Secretary of the Department of Finance, Associate Secretary in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Deputy Secretary in the Treasury and senior executive positions in the Department of Social Security and Family and Community Services.

Danielle Wood

Danielle is the CEO of the Grattan Institute. Danielle has published extensively on economic reform priorities, budget policy, generational inequality and reforming political institutions. She is a sought-after media commentator and speaker on policy issues.  Danielle previously worked at the ACCC, NERA Economic Consulting and the Productivity Commission. She is the national President of the Economic Society of Australia and co-founder and former Chair of the Women in Economics Network.


A full copy of the Terms of Reference is available online.

PO Box 6010
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

02 6277 9500