D-Gs ‘on notice’: Queensland’s public service shake-up

Directors-general in Queensland face a political firing squad in a “merit-based” process to retain their jobs. And there’s still confusion how the ministerial shake-up will impact the service.

Queensland’s top bureaucrats are on notice under an incoming Labor government — previous experience and past success may no longer apply. And those that survive face the challenge of new and often disparate portfolio groupings under a slimmed-down ministry.

New Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured) has ordered all department directors-general must re-apply for their jobs as part of a “merit-based process”. She says it will avoid a “night of the long knives” and goes to the government’s “commitment to integrity and accountability”.

One head has already rolled, with Premier and Cabinet boss Jon Grayson quitting the service by “mutual agreement”. He’s been replaced by Dave Stewart, a former Queensland mandarin who worked closely with Palaszczuk as a minister before being dismissed by Campbell Newman’s Liberal-National government.

Roger Scott, a long-time Queensland public servant who served as director-general of the Department of Education under the Wayne Goss Labor government, says “directors-general have been placed on notice that the reasons underlying their original elevation will be examined”.

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