10 recent goings-on in the Western Australian public sector

By The Mandarin

Thursday July 30, 2015

  1. Professor Peter Klinken has been re-appointed as WA’s chief scientist for another two years. He’s got a big year ahead chairing marine science roundtables, advising a strategic assessment of the Perth-Peel Region and developing a long-term agricultural research strategy.
  2. The WA government now has a whole-of-government open data policy, to be implemented by Landgate in consultation with other agencies. It applies to all government agencies and enterprises, universities, local government, courts and tribunals as well as government consultants, contractors and grant recipients.
  3. The Public Sector Commission has formally taken over minor misconduct, corruption prevention and education responsibilities from the Corruption and Crime Commission. Premier Colin Barnett said expects “ongoing refinements” over time but is confident in the protocols and processes the agencies have in place for a “smooth transition”. The two commissioners told The Mandarin how they’ll work together.
  4. The Road Safety Commission was established. Formerly the Office of Road Safety in the Department of Main Roads, it is now an independent agency and the CCC’s director of operations, Kim Papalia, is acting commissioner.
  5. Management of all state forest conservation, national parks, marine parks and reserves now resides in one agency after the Department of Parks and Wildlife merged with the Swan River Trust, creating a dedicated rivers and estuaries division. Environment and Heritage Minister Albert Jacob said: “The merged workforce will bring together scientists, conservation and ecosystems management experts, planners and project managers with experience in delivering significant capital works.”
  6. East Pilbara Shire president Lynne Craigie was elected president of the WA Local Government Association. She is the first female in the role. Craigie said: “local government is facing many challenges and we will be seeking to work closely with the state and Commonwealth governments to address these in a responsible way that keeps the interests of our local communities at the front of mind.”
  7. Environmental Protection Authority chair Paul Vogel steps down from the board on November 4 after eight years. The process of selecting a new chair has begun and Environment Minister Albert Jacob says Vogel staying his full term will greatly assist with the transition.
  8. Fremantle’s World Heritage listed prison has been moved to Jacob’s Heritage portfolio, which seems a better fit for the tourist attraction than Finance.
  9. Janelle Marr was announced as the new chair of the ScreenWest board, taking over from Peter Rowe.
  10. Hotelier and Sandalford Wines operator Peter Prendiville was reappointed chair of the Tourism WA board a further three years, along with deputy chair and Little Creatures beer brewing boss Howard Cearns. Discover Australia Holidays owner Nathan Harding was also reappointed to the board, while Transfield Services chair Diane Smith-Gander and former Emirates Australia chief Richard Vaughan have stepped down.

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