Members would be aware of the Machinery of Government changes flagged by the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) Secretary on Friday 18 and Monday 21 August. According to these plans, the Department of Planning & Environment will be effectively split into two agencies: the Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure and the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.
This decision would not come as a surprise to members. It has been clearly demonstrated that DPE is a rather unwieldy agency with several competing interests and now, an even more politicised agenda.
Unfortunately, this took place with no prior discussion. Not even a heads up to the PSA from this new Government or DPE. Whilst this is a decision entirely of the NSW Government, the PSA was hopeful for a better relationship with the parties after 12 years of attempted sidelining.
The PSA is extremely disappointed we have not been engaged in any discussions with DPE senior management regarding this announcement, even though the DPE Secretary met with staff on Monday 21 August.
The PSA has now written to the respective Planning, Environment and Housing Ministers seeking their input in how these new agencies will operate and where their focus for reform rests.
DPE now has a herculean effort to divide the agency into its new structures by the 1 January 2024 effective operation date. Members should understand that a logical progression of those structural changes is reform.
At this time there is no clear plan on how this will be undertaken, but rest assured the PSA will be here to support our members and to fight to retain jobs in structures that are already strained with vacancies and a lack of direction.
Be on the look out for further PSA correspondence, meetings with members and PSA representatives in your workplace.
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Your DPE Delegates’ Details
Environment, Energy and Science
Steve Lewer Newcastle
Daniel Cain Coffs Harbour
Catherine Ellis Sydney Metro
Land & Housing Corporation
Your PSA Organisers