Administrative orders: Home Affairs to grow

By David Donaldson

Wednesday May 29, 2019

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Refugee settlement and adult migrant education will move into the Home Affairs portfolio under machinery of government changes following the federal government’s re-election.

This will reunite the two functions with immigration, where they had sat until 2013.

The changes are among the reorganisations contained in the administrative arrangements order published on Wednesday, which follow the ministry list published earlier this week.

Portfolio changes include:

  • Industrial relations moves from the Employment portfolio to the Attorney-General’s portfolio;
  • Vocational education and training and apprenticeships moves from the Education portfolio to the Employment portfolio;
  • Migrant adult education moves from the Education portfolio to the Home Affairs portfolio;
  • Settlement services for refugees and humanitarian migrants moves from the Social Services portfolio to the Home Affairs portfolio;
  • Whole of government service delivery moves from the Prime Minister and Cabinet portfolio to Services Australia (formerly the Department of Human Services);
  • Population policy moves from the Infrastructure portfolio to the Treasury portfolio; and
  • Housing affordability moves from the Social Services portfolio to the Treasury portfolio.

Five existing departments will be renamed:

  • The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources becomes the Department of Agriculture;
  • The Department of Education and Training becomes the Department of Education;
  • The Department of Human Services is renamed Services Australia;
  • The Department of Jobs and Small Business is now the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business; and
  • The Department of Regional Development, Infrastructure and Cities is being changed to the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development.

The orders do not mention the new National Indigenous Australians Agency, which the prime minister announced on Sunday. He said the agency would be “attached to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet”.

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