All 25 WA government agencies have permanent heads except one

By Stephen Easton

September 1, 2017

Grahame Searle

Eight more of Western Australia’s public service directors-general were officially approved by the state governor this week, leaving only the newly formed Department of Communities without a permanent head.

All eight new appointments were named as interim leaders of their respective departments in an April memo published by the WA Public Sector Commission.

Grahame Searle (pictured) has been leading the Department of Communities, and is the only remaining acting director-general on a list of all new and continuing heads of the 25 agencies that now make up the state’s slimmed-down bureaucracy, published by Premier Mark McGowan:

Agency Name Title Current status 
Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation Mr Stephen Wood Director General New appointment
Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety Mr David Smith Director General New appointment
Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Mr Ralph Addis Director General New appointment
Department of Communities Mr Grahame Searle Acting Director General Acting appointment
Department of Justice Dr Adam Tomison Director General New appointment
Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage Ms Gail McGowan Director General New appointment
Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions Mr Mark Webb PSM Director General New appointment
Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries Mr Duncan Ord OAM Director General New appointment
Department of Water and Environmental Regulation Mr Michael Rowe Director General New appointment
Department of Education Ms Sharyn O’Neill Director General Continuing appointment
Western Australia Police Mr Chris Dawson APM Commissioner New appointment outside MOG 2017
Department of Finance Ms Anne Nolan Director General Continuing appointment
Department of the Premier and Cabinet Mr Darren Foster Director General New appointment outside MOG 2017
Department of Treasury Mr Michael Barnes Under Treasurer Continuing appointment
Department of Training and Workforce Development Ms Anne Driscoll Acting Director General Continuing appointment
Department of Transport Mr Richard Sellers Director General Continuing appointment
Department of Fire and Emergency Services Mr Wayne Gregson APM Commissioner Continuing appointment
Department of Health Dr David Russell-Weisz Director General Continuing appointment
Mental Health Commission Mr Tim Marney Commissioner Continuing appointment
Office of the Auditor General Mr Colin Murphy PSM Acting Auditor General Continuing appointment
Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Ms Amanda Forrester SC Director Continuing appointment
Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services Professor Neil Morgan Inspector Continuing appointment
Public Sector Commission Mr Malcolm Wauchope AO Commissioner Continuing appointment
Western AustralianElectoral Commission Mr David Kerslake Commissioner Continuing appointment
Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission Ms Sue Bastian Registrar Continuing appointment

“The new directors general are a key component of our commitment to implement real change across the public sector, to make it more efficient and to deliver better services to Western Australians,” McGowan said in the statement.

“Under their leadership, we will continue to implement our machinery of government changes and Service Priority Review to deliver cost savings across government and assist with the critical task of fixing the budget.”

The interim report of the Service Priority Review panel, chaired by former New Zealand State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie, also came out this week, flagging a major administrative overhaul across every aspect of the public sector and recommending whole-of-government performance targets.

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