How government ticks

SINCE the Machinery of Government taskforce changes came into place, some people have had difficulty finding the Government departments they used to deal with.

The shake-up reduced the number of Government depart-ments from 46 to 23 through amalgamation and will cause a 60-strong reduction of senior executive ranks.

The Government says the executive reduction will gen-erate annual savings of about $6 million.

Premier Geoff Gallop has admitted that some of the Government department reduct-ions will come about simply by the reclassification of some agencies.

For example, the WA Electoral Commission will be downgraded to an Office status.

The Government expects the restructure to bring in a large part of the $852 million in public sector savings it spoke about in the 2001-02 budget.

Those in the mining sector will find the Department of Resources Development and the Department of Minerals and Energy are no more. They have been merged to form the Department of Minerals and Petroleum Resources.

The Departments of Planning and Transport have been merged to form the Department of Planning and Infrastructure.

The Department of Contract and Management Services has joined the Ministry of Housing to become the Department of Housing and Works.

Commerce and Trade, once the vanguard of WA’s business efforts, has been carved up so its regional development functions merge with the Department of Local Government to form the Department of Local Govern-ment and Regional Development.

The remainder of C&T is now called the Department of Industry and Technology.

The Offices of State Revenue and the Treasury have been abolished and their functions taken over by the new Department of Treasury and Finance.

Employers looking for industrial information will notice the Department of Productivity and Labour Re-lations is no more. It has been merged with the Ministry of Fair Trading and WorkSafe WA to form the Department of Con-sumer and Employment Pro-tection.

Family and Children Services will merge with the Family and Children’s Policy Office, the Office of Senior Interests, the Women’s Policy Office and the Office of Youth Affairs to form the Department of Community Development.

The Department of Aboriginal Affairs has become the Depart-ment of Indigenous Affairs and the Totalisator Board of WA is now OzBET.

The Environmental Protection Authority will be merging with the Waters and Rivers Commission to form the Department of Environmental Protection.

Agriculture WA will disappear and its functions will be merged with Fisheries WA and the newly established Forest Products Commission to form the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forests.

Those agencies that have remained untouched by the mergers will have their designation changed to Department. For example, the Health Department of WA is now Department of Health and the Education Department of WA is now the Department of Education.

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