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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 859 asked in the Legislative Council on 15 August 2019 by Hon Jim Chown

Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 15 August 2019

DEPARTMENT OF PRIMARY INDUSTRIES AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT — STAFF

859. Hon JIM CHOWN to the Minister for Regional Development:

(1) How many Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development staff are having to reapply for employment in the department due to the machinery-of-government changes?

(2) What guarantee can the minister give DPIRD employees who are having to reapply that their positions will be reinstated after they go through the reapplication process?

Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:

I thank the member for the question. There is a preamble in the answer about the ODP—organisational design process—which I will not read out for the sake of time, but it will be part of the written answer. In relation to the member's specific question, no permanent Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development staff will have to reapply for employment. However, we —

The PRESIDENT: Minister, I think it is actually appropriate, even though you might think it might take time, that you actually read that preamble in, so everyone is aware of it.

Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN: Okay.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is required to deliver its organisational change in accordance with standard processes set out in the Public Sector Management Act and the Public Sector Management (Redeployment and Redundancy) Regulations. This process involves organisational design, job description form development, appointment by like-to-like transfer when possible, and appointment by quarantined merit selection followed by external recruitment as required. Each DPIRD division is at a different stage of this process and, therefore, it is not possible to quantify how many staff will be placed via the direct like-for-like transfer and how many will need to apply for new roles.

(1) No permanent DPIRD staff will have to reapply for employment. However, we do acknowledge that some staff will need to apply for new roles when there are more suitable staff than there are positions in the new structure. Any permanent staff displaced from their position as a result of the organisational change process will retain their permanent employment status. Displaced employees receive dedicated expert and proactive support while they seek a new placement in either DPIRD or the broader public sector. Of the 79 displaced employees to date, 41 have been permanently placed into new positions. Of the remaining 38, 18 are in funded meaningful work with DPIRD and six are on secondment to other agencies.

(2) Employees' positions cannot be reinstated because new functions, structures and positions have been created in DPIRD to replace all previous positions. Most employees will be placed into these new positions. In any event, no employee will have to reapply for employment, as explained above.