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New SA Premier Axes Four Department Heads

Four South Australian government department chief executives have been axed by new Premier Steven Marshall as part of a major shake-up of the upper ranks of the public service.

Mr Marshall has denied that the decision, which will cost around $2 million, had been made due to political alignment.

But he says the changes are necessary to implement his government's agenda.

"It's a new government, it's a new direction. It's natural that an incoming government... will want to make some changes," he told reporters in Adelaide on Wednesday.

The CEOs to lose their job include Department of Premier and Cabinet head Don Russell, a former adviser to former Labor prime minister Paul Keating.

The other three are Michael Deegan from the planning, transport and infrastructure department, Sandy Pitcher from the environment, water and natural resources department, and Ingrid Haythorpe from the attorney-general's department.

Mr Marshall had foreshadowed significant changes to the public service management describing the arrangements under Labor "chaotic".

"One of the critical things for us is making sure we have a government that takes responsibility," he said on Monday.

"We have a situation at the moment where chief executives answer to up to six ministers and that's not good enough."

- AAP

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