Prime Minister puts
Three department heads have been sacked and AusAID absorbed back into Foreign Affairs and Trade in a major reorganisation of the Australian Public Service announced by the new Government.
his stamp on APS
Prime Minister, Tony Abbott said the changes to Departmental structure would simplify the management of Government business, create clear lines of accountability and ensure that Departments delivered the Government’s key priorities.
Head of AusAID, Peter Baxter, went on extended leave just hours before the abolition of his 1,500-strong Agency was made public and Head of Treasury, Martin Parkinson has agreed to step down in mid-2014. The Government said it would consult Dr Parkinson about a new role.
Andrew Metcalfe has been sacked as head of the Department of Agriculture. He led the Department of Immigration from 2005 to 2012 and, as a former Liberal staffer, was thought to enjoy good relations with both sides of politics.
The other two sackings are Don Russell at the Department of Industry and Blair Comley (Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism).
The shake-up also resulted in the appointment of two new Departmental Secretaries with former head of ACT Justice and Community Safety, Renee Leon taking over a new, stand-alone Department of Employment.
Lisa Paul has been appointed as the Secretary of the new Department of Education, which will also be split from Employment and Workplace Relations.
Paul Grimes will move from Environment to take over from Mr Metcalfe at Agriculture.
Responsibility for customs and border control policy will move from the Attorney‑General’s portfolio to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
The Customs and Border Protection Service will also now report to the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection.
Settlement services for migrants and humanitarian entrants will be moved from the Department of Immigration to the Department of Social Services.
The Department of Social Services will take up responsibility for ageing and aged care and all programs for people with a disability. The Department will also take on responsibility for all income support arrangements for working-age people, in addition to its current responsibilities for Commonwealth pension payments.
The Social Inclusion Board will cease to operate and the Minister for Social Services will consider the arrangements for Ministerial Advisory Councils that meet the needs of his portfolio.
Regional Development, including Local Government and Territories, will move to the Department of Infrastructure.
The National Mental Health Commission will become the responsibility of the Minister for Health and sports policies and programs will also be managed by the Department of Health.
Arts will move to the Attorney-General’s portfolio in line with the appointment of Senator George Brandis as Minister for the Arts. This means that the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport will no longer exist.
Climate change policies and programs have been moved from the Industry Department to the Environment Department to bring together responsibility for the abolition of the carbon tax, the establishment of the Green Army, the creation of a one-stop-shop for environmental approvals and implementation of the Coalition’s Direct Action plan.
The Climate Commission, which had been established to provide public information on the impacts and potential solutions to global warming, has been abolished.
Minister for Environment, Greg Hunt has also moved to repeal legislation for the Climate Change Authority.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade will take responsibility for leading Australia’s participation in climate change negotiations.
The Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) is to be integrated into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, enabling the aid and diplomatic arms of Australia’s international policy agenda to be more closely aligned.
Resources, energy and domestic tourism will become the responsibility of the Department for Industry.
There will no longer be a separate Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.
Responsibility for international tourism promotion will move to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Policy responsibility for Small Business will sit with the Treasury. Responsibility for the delivery of programs will remain with the Department of Industry.
The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet will take on responsibility for Indigenous affairs, deregulation and the Office for Women.
The revised Administrative Arrangements Orders are available here:
Going: Andrew Metcalfe, Don Russell and Blair Comley.
Edition 380, 24 September 2013