Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced major changes to the structure of the public service, slashing the number of departments from 18 to 14, in the biggest changes in decades.
Five secretaries will lose their jobs and four new departments will be created. The new departments will be: Education, Skills and Employment; Agriculture, Water and the Environment; Industry, Science, Energy and Resources; and Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts.
Mr Morrison said the changes were designed to ensure a “very strong focus” on the delivery of services and the implementation of policy, not just its development.
“The success of policy is recognised in its delivery and implementation. It’s the execution of the strategy that matters not just having one,” the prime minister said.
Secretaries to be moved on include Health Department Secretary Glenys Beauchamp, Renée Leon from the Department of Human Services, Agriculture Department Secretary Daryl Quinlivan, and secretary of the Department of Communications and the Arts Mike Mrdak and Heather Smith secretary of the Communications Department.
Before the announcement, Canberra was rife with speculation that the shake-up will be the biggest in decades. Comparisons are being drawn with Bob Hawke who reduced the number of departments from 28 to 18 in 1987.
More to come.