Showing posts with label government policy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label government policy. Show all posts

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

An as yet unconfirmed rumour about the Indue Cashless Welfare Card


Indue Limited (ABN 97 087 822 464) is a bank and Authorised Deposit-Taking Institution (“ADI”) that is regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. Indue is owned by financial institutions, each of which is also an ADI. Indue provides transaction processing and settlement services to credit unions, building societies, church funds, mortgage originators, commercial clients and the Australian government.

via @CartwheelPrint


Facebook, The Say NO Seven, 9 August 2019:

🐦⚠⚠⚠⚠⚠ #LNP_CASHLESS_CARD_AGENDA 


Whistle blower testimony sent to the SNS has confirmed the LNP agenda for Indue Cards.


As long time members are aware, the SNS operates an encrypted mail service and drop box specifically for those people within the system to speak out in relative safety.


A rarely used resource, this week and we assume as a direct result of the the muzzling of certain sectors, we have received information from two independent sources attached to the department and public service that corroborate our concerns.


The LNP Agenda is clear. They are "confidant" that regardless of whether ALP support/do not support further expansions, that with Cross Bench support, they will reach this target prior to the next Federal election.


We do not send this notice to generate groundless fear. We send it to inform you and to inform those within our government who feel themselves above the law and the will of the people, that we *will* and will continue to resist.


We have deliberated deeply about presenting this information, which should come as no real surprise to those are literate in card matters and current political machinations.


We concluded it was necessary to post, despite being unable to provide documentation to you at this time, as has been our standard thus far and will continue to be. The risks are simply too great to not speak out now, while we still can, and are as great as the risks whistle blowers face if we provide any further detail.


We can confirm the sources are credible, reliable, are informed, and have been vetted.


⚠ We must reiterate that AT THIS TIME there are NO Bills before parliament that would permit ANY further roll out in ANY location nor are there any current Bills before parliament to expand payment captures to include aged pension aka under the Act as Mature Aged Payment. 


We must continue to remain steadfast and take one step at a time, and take each presentation to parliament as it comes.


Information sharing over several weeks along with these new posts has confirmed that four Bills concerning or including cashless cards are in progress and that these Bills may arrive as a single Omnibus Bill. We are informed that the writing of these Bills has been outsourced to partisan legal interests.


Even so, as we said, we must remain steadfast and take each presentation to parliament as it comes and not allow fear to dictate or determine *our* outcomes decisions or directions.


We send this to you for 'the grace of time' - for your emotional and mental preparation and for wider general awareness of what we are likely to be facing over the next three years.


We will post over the next week on just what this agenda, if successful, could mean for Australians and our nation and economy; on the utilization and role of religious groups as relates to LNP's social welfare policy as a whole; and we will also speak on issues of effective resistance.


Now we know. Time to wake the masses.


Heads up..eyes open..no fear. ✊


- SNS🌿


Monday, 5 August 2019

Morrison Government intends to go ahead with the drug testing of welfare recipients


"…the bill is not written like a research trial, it's written as policy by stealth…and if this is about introducing new policy, then…it misunderstands the nature of drug problems and drug dependence." [UNSW Professor Lisa Maher, Committee Hansard, 23 April 2018, p.18] 

According to data.gov.au, between January 2017 and and December 2018 there were 5.82 million Australian citizens receiving Newstart Allowance unemployment benefits for all or part of that period.

Based on the New Zealand experience of widespread drug testing, it is highly likely that just one year into any Australian scheme which regularly drug tests Newstart recipients running costs would not be less than $3.27 billion.

When you add those receiving Youth Allowance,  then drug testing and intervention costs would run even higher.

Even the limited trial currently proposed by the Morrison Government would in all probability cost somewhere in the vicinity of $20 million in its first year.

In the health care sector there is almost universal condemnation of the Morrison Government's drug testing bill as being either unworkable in practice as a reliable drug detection scheme or ineffective as a method of medical intervention.

Indeed, it is reported that Clinical Associate Professor Adrian Reynolds, an expert in addiction medicine, has stated that the drug testing trial is 'unlikely to bring about any sustained changes in patients' drug use behaviours and may even be counterproductive.'

Nor does it appear that there is any solid evidence that such a testing regime actually assists unemployed people to either find work or successfully access treatment. 


Given how many drug or alcohol dependent individuals currently cannot get a timely appointment or find a inpatient bed in the est. 952 publicly funded drug & alcohol agencies across Australia and the fact that the majority of both private and publicly funded agencies are in large metropolitan areasthis lack of evidence comes as no surprise.

Here is just one submission made to the Senate Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Drug Testing Trial) Bill 2018 in April 2018 by the peak medical practitioners organisation.


http://www.scribd.com/document/420530854/Social-Services-Legislation-Amendment-Drug-Testing-Trial-Bill-2018-Australian-Parliament


Tuesday, 30 July 2019

The unemployed in Australia have been betrayed yet again


A Liberal Party dominated Australian House Of Representatives Select Committee on Intergenerational Welfare Dependence betrayed vulnerable Australians in April 2019.

However, neither the Labor Party nor Centre Alliance can walk away from the shameful part they played in this betrayal.

The Age, 23 July 2019:

A bipartisan call to increase the Newstart allowance was removed from a parliamentary report at the direction of the Morrison government on the eve of the federal election.

As Prime Minister Scott Morrison stares down growing demands by Coalition MPs to lift the unemployment benefit for the first time since 1994, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age can reveal former social services minister Paul Fletcher intervened in an inquiry to erase a major recommendation that would have turbo-charged the sensitive issue.

The probe into the causes of long-term welfare was established by the government in mid-2018 to investigate why some Australians become trapped in the system.
The draft final report - agreed to by MPs from the Coalition, Labor and crossbench - contained a specific call to lift the Newstart payment for singles and families.

But sources said Mr Fletcher demanded to review the recommendations before they were publicly released in April and is understood to have told the committee chair - veteran Liberal MP Russell Broadbent - that the final report could not contain the specific Newstart recommendation.

The committee, which included Liberal MPs Kevin Andrews, Bert van Manen, Ben Morton and Rowan Ramsey, as well as Labor MPs Ged Kearney and Sharon Bird, was then hastily reconvened to change the wording of the report.

The opposition's policy at the time was to merely review Newstart rather than raise it.

Following Mr Fletcher's intervention, MPs agreed to only recommend an examination of the "adequacy of payments on young people and single parent families".

In a sign of the growing sensitivity of the issue, Mr Morrison on Tuesday warned Coalition MPs against airing personal views, telling them "government is not a blank cheque" and that they disrespected colleagues by pursuing personal policy agendas.

Amended Final Report can be found here.

Australian Parliamentary Library Briefing Book, retrieved 18 July 2019;

From 20 March 2020, Newstart Allowance will be replaced by a new JobSeeker Payment. Over time a number of other working age payments such as Sickness Allowance and Widow Allowance will end and recipients will also move to the JobSeeker Payment. The new payment will have the same payment rates and indexation arrangements as Newstart Allowance. This is part of a 2017–18 budget measure that aims to simplify the income support system. [my yellow highlighting]

Monday, 29 July 2019

Domestic violence can be a whole lot more more than being slapped across the face or pushed into a wall - something the religious right in the Morrison Government fail to understand


It appears that the Morrison Government is not backing down from delivering $10 million in federal funding to predominately religious groups for the purpose of providing counselling for couples and couples with children where one adult is a domestic violence perpetrator and the other adult (and perhaps one or more of the children) is the victim of this violence.

By 23 July 2019, mainstream media had reported on the deaths by violence of 29 women this year.

One in every 4 Australian women experience domestic violence during their lifetime.

Shot, stabbed, set on fire, held under water until drowned, rammed by a car, beaten or hacked to death. These are just some of the ways women die at the hands of their husbands, partners or close male relatives.

However, there is one attempt to injure and kill that appears to be the most common.....

news.com.au, 26 July 2019



ABC News, 12 March 2019: 

Women who survive strangulation are up to seven times more likely to go on to die at the hands of their partner, according to recent studies in the US. 

And there are side effects that aren't always obvious to treating doctors, paramedics or police officers — everything from voice changes to blood clots, strokes and paralysis. 

Survivors and medical professionals are now pushing for increased training and awareness around non-lethal strangulation — something they say could help save lives. 

Sue* was strangled by her partner about a year ago in Queensland, and knows too well that the side-effects can be delayed, and severe. 

 "I have PTSD. I have vocal cord dysfunction," she says. "I'll get halfway through a sentence and have to stop because I can't swallow properly and I can't breathe properly because the neck just spasms because of the damage done to the vocal cords.... 

A quarter of all NSW murder victims had suffered a strangulation attack prior to their deaths.


ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, Strangulation injuries:

There are numerous anatomic neck structures that, when collapsed, can cause morbidity and mortality in hanging injuries. Jugular veins collapse under 4.4 pounds of pressure. Carotid arteries collapse under 5.5 to 22 pounds of pressure. The vertebral arteries will collapse under 18 to 66 pounds of pressure. The trachea will collapse under 33 pounds of pressure. The cricoid cartilage will fracture under 45 pounds of pressure. The collapse of each of these vital structures can lead to immediate death, as well as delayed complications. Damages to both anterior and posterior ligaments and cervical spine dislocations have been documented as a result of strangulation injuries. Direct spinal cord injury, hematoma, or hemorrhage can both cause immediate death and paralysis.

Acute death will ensue when compression or occlusion of the trachea occurs. In the past, this was proposed as the mechanism of mortality in most strangulation injuries. Swelling to the airway and surrounding structures may also lead to acute or delayed death. Death has been documented up to 36 hours after initial strangulation injuries. Compromise to vascular structures has been proven to cause significant morbidity and mortality. This has been proven in tracheostomy patients who have committed suicide. Death in these cases did not involve compression of the trachea or airway due to the presence of an intact tracheostomy.


Compression of the jugular veins results in acute death by causing cerebral hypoxia followed by loss of muscle tone. Once muscle tone is compromised, increased pressure is applied to both the carotid arteries and trachea. Direct compression of the carotid arteries also leads to decrease or loss of cerebral blood flow and brain death. Direct pressure on the carotid sinuses causes a systemic drop in blood pressure, bradycardia, and other arrhythmias. Consequences are anoxic and hypoxic brain injury death.


Many of the martial arts “submission holds” are known to place direct pressure to these vascular structures primarily and can result in strangulation injuries. There can be long-term consequences of strangulation injuries due to vascular compromise as well. Long-term anoxic brain injury, thrombotic stroke, dissection, and aneurysm of vessels can all cause significant morbidity. [my yellow highlighting]

Friday, 26 July 2019

Land clearing law in New South Wales




It’s been almost two years since the NSW Government introduced a new scheme for regulating land clearing and biodiversity in NSW. While the business of tree clearing has continued apace under self-assessed codes and a new Vegetation SEPP, fundamentally important parts of the scheme are still missing. This EDO NSW series of legal updates looks at how the laws are being implemented and the regulatory gaps that are putting our wildlife and healthy sustainable landscapes at risk.

Our first update looked at clearing in rural areas and outlined the fundamentally important parts of the scheme that are still missing even while tree clearing has continued apace under self-assessed codes. The second update looks at elements of the new scheme that are missing or lack clarity for tree clearing in urban areas and e-zones. This third update looks at compliance and enforcement of new clearing laws.

Read the third update here.

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

No you weren't imagining it - wages are stagnating in Australia


Whenever the Fair Work Commission reviews the minimum wage, one of those making a submission* to keep any increase in the minimum wage a modest one will be the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government.

By way of example:
https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/sites/wagereview2014/submissions/ausgovt_sub_awr1314.pdf
First 5 points in a 12 point statement of Australian Government's position
https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/sites/wagereview2015/submissions/austgov_sub_awr1415.pdf


This is the result.......


As the asset-driven wealth gap has widened, incomes generated by employment have failed to keep up.

Average weekly disposable household incomes have grown just $44 over the past decade. In the four years to 2007-08, average weekly household incomes grew by $220. They dipped in the immediate wake of the global financial crisis before reaching $1067 in the 2013-14 survey. They fell in the next survey and rose $8 a week to $1062 in the 2017-18 survey.

In NSW, those in the lowest 20 per cent of income earners have seen their incomes go backwards in real terms since 2015-16, from $412 a week to $397 a week. They are only $6 a week higher than in 2011-12. The biggest increase has been for people in Tasmania, where disposable incomes jumped $83 to a record-high $922, with households across all income ranges boosted. The largest slump has been in Western Australia, where disposable incomes are $157 lower than their peak in 2013-14. [my yellow highlighting]

However, lest Australian voters seek to blame the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison or any employer lobby group for paltry wages growth, the Australian Treasury and participants at a recent conference organised by the rather esoteric Economic Society of Australia - est. in 1925 and delighting in producing articles such as "Community and Expert Wine Ratings and Prices" and "Non‐monotonic NPV Function Leads to Spurious NPVs and Multiple IRR Problems: A New Method that Resolves these Problems" - have rushed to the defence of both government and the business community.

With Treasury in particular pointing a finger at employees, who are reluctant to quit their current jobs and chance their arm in an uncertain labour market, as a possible cause of low wages growth.  
So there you have it. Despite both the federal government and employer groups constantly pushing to limit wages growth, it's really the fault of workers. 

Regardless of the fact that productivity growth mainly from workers' efforts has averaged 1.4 percent a year since the end of 2010 having risen at a relatively steady rate since 1991.

Note:
* See https://www.fwc.gov.au/awards-agreements/minimum-wages-conditions/annual-wage-reviews/annual-wage-review-2017-18-3. Go to right hand sidebar, open a wage review link, select Submissions &  then click on Initial Submissions.


Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Australian Prime Minister Morrison's relentless hammering of the poor and vulnerable set to continue?


The Guardian, 7 July 2019:

The Morrison government says it remains committed to a plan criticised as “brutal” to dock the welfare of those who repeatedly fail to pay state fines, and may still proceed with cuts to student payments claimed by the unemployed, the disabled and sole parents.

The Coalition introduced a number of welfare measures in 2017 which drew the ire of social service groups but ultimately never came into effect because the government failed to win the support of the Senate or the states and territories.

Guardian Australia reported this month that internal documents suggested the contentious plan to drug test welfare recipients was not a priority, but the government has insisted it remains on its agenda.

Other welfare proposals from the last parliament included about $90m in cuts to student payments, legislation to automatically deduct rent from welfare recipients living in social housing, which critics said could put family violence survivors at risk, and a plan to impose the “demerit point” compliance scheme on those doing the remote work-for-the-dole program, which has seen payment suspensions surge…...

But the spokesman did confirm the government still intended to create the scheme to automatically dock 15% of payments for those who have unpaid fines…...

The Encouraging Lawful Behaviour of Income Support Recipients proposal remains government policy and requires legislative approval,” Ruston’s spokesman said…..

Labor had opposed the cuts to the $208-a-year pensioner education supplement and the $32.20-a week education entry payment, which are intended to help low-income people with the cost of study.

The changes would save the budget $95m over five years, but the opposition said the policy would hurt people with disability, carers, sole parents and the unemployed.

The Australian Council of Social Service has previously lashed the plan to dock welfare payments from people with court-ordered state fines as “particularly brutal”.

The proposal would automatically dock 15% of an income support payment, but critics say it will push vulnerable people into homelessness.

Welfare groups including the Australian Unemployed Workers Union have also expressed grave concerns about a plan announced last year to link Newstart recipients to farm work using the national database.

The unemployed would face losing their welfare payments for four weeks if they turned down what the government described as a “suitable job without reasonable excuse”.

The department of employment confirmed the policy would begin in July next year.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Tears before bedtime under The National Strategic Action Plan for Pain Management?



Painaustralia says of itself that it is “Australia’s leading pain advocacy body working to improve the quality of life of people living with pain, their families and carers, and to minimise the social and economic burden of pain on individuals and the community”.

On 11 June 2019 it released a copy of The National Strategic Action Plan for Pain Management having convinced the Morrison Coalition Government that this plan is the bee knees when it comes to pain management.

If the following article is anything to go by it will be tears before bedtime for many chronic pain suffers as the plan does not contain any mention of actually increasing the number pain specialists practicing in Australia or of attempting to lower wait times to see such specialists.

Currently NSW Health only lists 35 pain management services in the state and most of these are attached to metropolitan public hospitals.

Instead people experiencing acute and chronic pain are to be offered 10 Medicare-funded group services and 10 individual services each calendar year, with access to telehealth pain management advice for regional areas where pain management services are not available.

As for pain management using prescribed medications – that is apparently going to be more difficult to access as Painaustralia and the Morrison Government are alarmed that opiate prescriptions in rural & regional Australia have risen in the last ten years. 

Seemingly conveniently blind to any relationship between increased prescribing and low GP numbers, smaller often poorly resourced public hospitals, a reliance on what might be termed 'flyin-flyout' medical specialists who prefer not to live in those rural or regional areas their patients inhabit and the economic tyranny of distance for the patient.

The Daily Examiner, 18 June 2019, p.8:

Doctors will be sent back to school to be re-educated about treating chronic pain and patients given a Medicare boost under a new national strategy.

The first national pain strategy launching today also calls for a national one-stop website to be set up to educate people about how to manage pain without drugs and where to find help.

“There is a screaming need here because pain is a significant burden on the economy, on society and the health system,” Pain Australia chief executive Carol Bennett said.

More than 3.24 million Australians are living with chronic pain and many are becoming addicted to opioid medications while they wait up to four years to see a pain specialist for help.

Last year Australians paid $2.7 billion in out-of-pocket expenses to manage their pain and missed 9.9 million days of work because of the condition.

The new strategy funded by the Federal Government and developed by Pain Australia wants pain to be treated in the same way as mental health, with Medicare funding up to 20 medical and group sessions to help people get it under control. It also calls for a new certificate in pain medicine for GPs and other health professionals that would require six months of study.

The consultation work that took place around the development of the new plan found doctors’ knowledge about the latest pain management techniques was out of date.

“For lower back pain people are popping pills and having surgery but for the last 15 years we’ve known you’ve got to get moving and rehabilitate yourself with physical management,” Ms Bennett said.

Anti-inflammatory medications should not be used for more than a few days and long-term strengthening of the muscles, good nutrition and sleep were the key to treating the problem rather than drugs, she said.

Instead of helping patients manage pain in this way, doctors were prescribing increasing amounts of dangerous and addictive opioid medicines.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

How the Prime Minister is reorganising our lives in 2019


On the day Scott Morrison arranged to be sworn-in as Australian prime minister for the second time he also made a few administrative changes.

From now on the Dept. of Human Services, which delivers social and health payments through such services such as Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support, will have the word "Human" erased from its title.

It will now be called Services Australia. A neutral name which will probably make privatisation of its more human service components that much easier down the track.

Services Australia has also been expanded to include responsibility for whole of government service delivery. 

The new Minister for Government Services and Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme is noneother than the Qld Liberal MP for Fadden Stuart Robert, who in 2016 resigned as the Minister for Human Services after questions were raised over his fitness for officeThus proving that when it comes to political probity it's not what you did in the past but who you pray with now that matters.

The new Minister for Families and Social Services was listed on 26 May 2019 as Liberal Senator for South Australia Anne Rushton. However, there is no mention of that title in her official parliamentary profile to date. 

Morrison has also decided that settlement services for refugees and humanitarian migrants are being transferred from the Social Services portfolio to the Home Affairs portfolio, giving the Minister for Home Affairs and Liberal MP for Dickson Peter Dutton control of every aspect of the lives of those seeking asylum or resettlement in Australia.

These and other changes are set out below........


Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Quality of Australian television & radio will take a dive under a re-elected Morrison Government



The ABC is facing "inevitable" job cuts and programming disruption if the Morrison government is returned to power, the national broadcaster's new managing director has warned.

In his first interview in the new job, David Anderson told Radio National's Patricia Karvelas that planning for two possible budget scenarios was at the top of his to-do list, after establishing a new leadership team.

One of those options is a budget in which the ABC's indexation funding is frozen for the next three years.

"If the Coalition is returned, then we have an $84 million budget reduction over the next three years," Mr Anderson said.

"Having been through a number of budget reductions to this point, I don’t see how we can avoid staff cuts and, I think, disruption to our content. I think it’s inevitable."
None of the options available for finding $84 million in savings were great, he said.

Friday, 10 May 2019

“Welfare-to-work” is now a billion-dollar industry which consistently fails vulnerable jobseekers



The Guardian, 4 May 2019:

“Welfare-to-work” is now a billion-dollar industry. Providers compete for the lucrative contracts, worth $7.6bn to the taxpayer over five years when the last round was signed in 2015.

Proponents for the privatised system argue the model is much cheaper and boasts a better cost-to-outcome ratio.

But myriad reports – including recent findings from a Senate committee and a government-appointed panel – have found the most disadvantaged jobseekers are being left behind.

In 2002, a Productivity Commission report that was largely supportive of the then-new privatised model still warned “many disadvantaged job seekers receive little assistance … so-called ‘parking’”. That practice still occurs under this name today, according to employment consultants who spoke to Guardian Australia for this story.

When a person applies for Newstart, they are assigned a Jobactive provider and placed into one of three categories ordered by the level of assistance they might need: streams A, B and C.

The outlook for the most-disadvantaged jobseekers is bleak: only a quarter will find work each year. Overall, 40% of those receiving payments will still be on welfare in two years. While Jobactive has recorded 1.1 million “placements” since 2015, one in five people have been in the system for more than five years.

New data provided to Guardian Australia by the Department of Jobs and Small Business shows about 1.9 million people have participated in Jobactive between July 2015 and 31 January 2019. In that time, 350,000 – or 18% – have been recorded gaining employment and getting off income support for longer than 26 weeks.

And of those 350,000, only 35,852 – or 10% – had been classified as disadvantaged in Stream C.

Since Lanyon was placed on Jobactive, he’s had eight job interviews and sent in about 150 applications. Eighteen months ago he says he slept in his car and showered at a homeless shelter after finding work close enough to take but too far away for a daily commute.

He knows his chances of getting back into work diminish each day he’s out of the workforce.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

NSW Office of Environment and Heritage is being dissolved. More truthful version – the regions are being scr$wed over to allow Berejiklian Government’s mates a freer hand to develop coastal NSW to death




A government spokeswoman said the restructuring would enable the administration "to better serve the people of NSW".

"For the first time, we have a combined Energy and Environment portfolio and this new structure will ensure the government can take a holistic approach to this issue," she told the Herald. "The functions currently performed by OEH will continue.”

Among staff, though, the worry was that the oversight separately developed and funded for years would now be subsumed in the expanded Planning cluster, with job losses one consequence.

Rob Stokes, a former environment minister, returns as Planning Minister as part of the government's post-election reshuffle. Matt Kean will be the new Energy and Environment minister….

One senior staffer told the Herald OEH had often provided a dissenting view to Planning, such as when new housing projects in the Sydney Basin threatened the dwindling natural reserves. Remaining koala corridors, for instance, were among the habitats at risk.

Work that had previously been conducted by inhouse OEH experts was already being diverted to external consultants - a process staff worry will accelerate with the bureaucratic overhaul now under way.

"There has already been a strong shift away from the environment having its own voice already," the staffer said.

Penny Sharpe, acting Labor leader and environment spokeswoman, said NSW had now become the only state in Australia without an environment department.
"One of the first acts of the Premer - after talking a lot about the environment during the election - is to abolish the Office of Environment," Ms Sharpe said.

"This is a terrible outcome for the environment of NSW and it's a betrayal for [voters]," she said.  "We know it was a very important, top-order issue for many, many people."

The environmental problems facing the state include more than 1000 plant and animal species threatened with extinction, an 800 per cent increase in land-clearing during the past three years, and waterways "that are in crisis", Ms Sharpe said.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

It is likely to be tears before bedtime for many regional communities as Berejiklian Government restructures government departments



Government News, 2 April 2019:   
 
The NSW government will abolish key agencies including the Office of Local Government, the RMS and Jobs NSW under sweeping changes to the structure of the NSW public service.

A memo from the Department of  Premier and Cabinet obtained by Government News says the Office of Local Government, along with the Office of Environment and Heritage, will cease to be independent entities and their functions will be absorbed by a Planning and Industry Cluster.

The cluster will cover areas such as long term planning, precincts, infrastructure, open space, the environment and natural resources.

The RMS, coming under the Transport Cluster, will also be scrapped as a separate agency and as will Jobs NSW, which will be merged into the Treasury Cluster…..

Local Government NSW President Linda Scott said the peak would be seeking assurances from the new local government minister, Shelley Hancock, and the Premier, that local governments would be appropriately resourced within the new cluster.

“We’d hope, for example, that the inclusion into a larger cluster will facilitate real analysis of the massive amounts of data collected by Government, which should be shared with the sector to help them deliver great outcomes for the public good,” she told Government News.

“Local governments welcome a new opportunity to work with the State Government to set housing targets with local governments, not for them – to rebalance planning powers by working in partnership with councils and their neighbourhoods on planning decisions that affect them.”

However she said the appointment of Ms Hancock was a stand-alone Local Government Minister was welcomed and had long been advocated for by LGNSW.....

The memo says the structure of the public service will also incorporate the following clusters: Stronger Communities, Customer Service, Health; Premier and Cabinet, Transport, Treasury  and Education.

The following clusters will cease to exist by July 1:  Finance, Services & Innovation; Industry; Planning & Environment; Family and Communities; and Justice.

The Secretaries Board will be expanded in members to accommodate more senior public servants to “effectively drive implementation of the Government’s priorities”.

New appointments under the restructure:
Michael Coutts-Trotter – Secretary, Families & Community Services & Justice
Jim Betts – Secretary, Planning and Industry
Glenn King – Secretary, Customer Service
Simon Draper – Chief Executive, Infrastructure Australia

NOTE:
The Grafton Loop of the Knitting Nannas Against Gas and Greed will be holding a knit-in on Thursday 4 April 2019 at 1pm to peacefully protest the abolition of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. It will be held outside the electoral office of Nationals MP for Clarence Chris Gulaptis at 11 Prince Street, Grafton and interested people are welcome to attend.