The new Public Service Commissioner has denied claims that he is a “stalwart of the radical right”.

The Abbott government brought in hardcore workplace reformer John Lloyd as the new Australian Public Service Commissioner late last year, amid stalled enterprise bargaining negotiations for 160,000 public servants and plans for widespread industrial action.

As a former Australian Building and Construction Commissioner - a position abolished by Labor and soon to be resurrected - Mr Lloyd has had his run-ins with some of the most powerful construction unions in the country.

In his most recent role at the Institute of Public Affairs, Mr Lloyd has already outlined broad plans for new workplace relations changes.

The unions and Labor Party have little love for Lloyd. 

“John Lloyd is a stalwart of the radical right, lauded by the HR Nicholls Society for his role at the forefront of attacks on workers' rights from the ABCC to Workchoices,” CPSU national secretary Nadine Flood said.

“We have always said that we are prepared to talk with this government to find fair and sensible solutions to workplace relations but unfortunately with Mr Lloyd's appointment it looks like the government is intent on keeping its door slammed shut.”

Labor senator Doug Cameron said the appointment showed that the Federal Government was arming itself for an industrial confrontation with the public service.

“He's an IPA pin-up boy, an extreme ideologue,” Senator Cameron said.

Mr Lloyd has now responded, in his first media interview after taking up the Public Service Commissioner role.

“I think those labels are ill-informed... I don't place much store in labels,” he told Fairfax Media.

“I've served the Coalition and ALP over decades. I gained entry into the [bureaucracy's] senior executive service when I was in my early 30s. I am a public servant.

“We're not politicians. When the public service is unjustifiably criticised, my job is to defend it,” he said.

Mr Lloyd is in favour of more casualisation and ‘flexible’ work arrangements.

“There are more independent contractors than there are union members [in Australia],” he said.