Labor Revitalises VPS

Updated 22/04/2016

Victoria's new Premier Daniel Andrews has announced changes to revitalise Victoria’s public services as the first step to getting Victoria back to work.  A number of community portfolios will be elevated to the Department of Premier and Cabinet including the new portfolios of Equality and the Prevention of Family Violence.  A key priority is to establish a Royal Commission into Family Violence in early 2015.  A new Special Minister of State, Gavin Jennings will oversee government transparency, integrity, accountability and public sector administration and reform.  This role will be supported by the Department of Premier and Cabinet.  The Premier will be taking responsibility for overseeing the establishment and direction of our two key new bodies – Infrastructure Victoria and Projects Victoria – that will kick-start major projects in Victoria.  Infrastructure Victoria will develop a long-term infrastructure pipeline that will plan capital projects beyond election cycles, and Projects Victoria will ensure that the delivery of major projects stays on track.

I received a call from the new Special Minister of State yesterday and I thank him for the courtesy.  I welcome the undertakings given about jobs, training, and educational investment in the workforce. 

The Minister has now written to me to confirm the following Departmental arrangements. 

The government is reducing the number of government departments from nine to seven, effective 1 January 2015 to implement a clearer more commonsense structure of Government.

The Department of Premier and Cabinet will be led by Mr Chris Eccles and support the following portfolios:

• Premier
• Deputy Premier
• Special Minister of State
• Aboriginal Affairs
• Equality
• Multicultural Affairs
• The Prevention of Family Violence Veterans
• Women

In addition, the Department of Premier and Cabinet portfolio now includes providing support in relation to the Auditor-General, the Commissioner for Privacy and Data Protection, the Freedom of Information Commissioner, the Independent Broad-based Anticorruption Commission, the Local Government Investigations and Compliance Inspectorate, the Public Interest Monitor, the Victorian Electoral Commission, the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission, and the Victorian Inspectorate.

DPC is also assuming responsibility for Major Projects Victoria and the Port Transaction Unit.

The new Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources will be led by Mr Richard Bolt and support the following portfolios:

• Public Transport
• Agriculture
• Creative Industries
• Employment
• Energy and Resources
• Industry
• Ports
• Regional Development
• Roads and Road Safety
• Small Business, Innovation and Trade
• Tourism and Major Events (including major sporting events)

The new Department of Education and Training will be led by Ms Gill Callister and support the following portfolios:

• Education
• Training and Skills
• Families and Children (in respect of children and early years responsibilities)

The new Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning will be led by Mr Adam Fennessy and support the following portfolios:

• Environment, Climate Change and Water
• Local Government
• Planning

The new Department of Health and Human Services will be led by Dr Pradeep Philip and support the following portfolios:

• Health
• Ambulance Services
• Families and Children
• Housing, Disability and Ageing
• Mental Health
• Sport (except for major sporting events)
• Youth Affairs

The new Department of Justice and Regulation will be led by Mr Greg Wilson and support the following portfolios:

• Attorney-General
• Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation
• Corrections
• Emergency Services
• Police
• Racing

The Department of Treasury and Finance will be led by Mr David Martine and support the following portfolios:

• Treasurer
• Finance
• Industrial Relations
• Roads and Road Safety (in respect of the Transport Accident Commission)

DTF is also assuming responsibility for CenITex.

The realignment of Departmental structures and reporting lines better reflects Ministerial responsibility.  The increased emphasis on Environment & Water with Land usage is welcome and better reflects all component parts of the planning process.  The former Government hid the scale of its job cut program by confusing Departmental alignments.  Its failed merger of Environment with Primary Industries is an example of that and the workforce will now look forward to a clearer more commonsense structure of Government.


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