The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet secretary Michael Thawley has resigned from his post in federal public service just hours after Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade secretary Peter Varghese also stepped down.

Thawley was appointed to his post by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott last year and was due to finish his term in late January next year. The ABC reports that there has been some unrest within government ranks regarding Thawley’s performance since Prime Minister Turnbull assumed office in September.

“I will be around for another few weeks and we still have some time to talk about what the Government's agenda might be and how we can make our department more successful in its ambitions. I expect that an announcement of my successor will be made in the next couple of weeks or so," Thawley wrote to staff. He has reportedly communicated his wish to get back to the private sector in January 2016 to the PM.

Varghese also announced his resignation as DFAT secretary on Tuesday. He has held the post since December 2012.

While Thawley had previously served as Australia’s ambassador to the U.S., Varghese was Australia’s high commissioner to India and director-general of the Office of National Assessments before took up his position at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Drew Clarke, who served as the departmental secretary under Turnbull when he was minister of communications, has agreed to become the next chief-of-staff to the prime minister.

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