21 May 2024

The Water Cooler: Comings, goings and consultations

| James Day
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Three images compiled together: a woman, a couple and a woman

A breakdown of the latest appointments and open consultations in the Australian Public Service and across the public services of the states and territories.

APS Senior Executive Service

Band 1

Kelly Taron has been promoted to executive manager at the Office of the eSafety Commissioner.

The Department of Home Affairs has promoted Linda Cappello to commander of workforce operational policy and practices.

Melina Saunders is the new branch head for First Nations policy and engagement at the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water.

Band 2

The Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry has promoted Tim Simpson to chief people officer.

An anonymous senior public servant has been promoted to chief operating officer at the Office of National Intelligence.


New chair and board members join Australian Sports Commission

Federal Sport Minister Anika Wells has appointed Kate Jenkins AO as chair of the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) for a five-year term.

The ASC is the Commonwealth agency responsible for increasing involvement in sport, enabling an effective sports sector, targeted financial support and the operation of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).

Ms Jenkins is the former Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner and Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner. She is known for leading several successful cultural change reforms in complex environments including parliament, the tertiary sector, defence and law enforcement.

She will be joining the commission alongside new board members Dr Bridie Kean PLY and Nicholas Green OAM.

Dr Kean is a dual Paralympic medallist, University of the Sunshine Coast lecturer, and Deputy Chef de Mission of the 2024 Australian Paralympic team. Mr Green is a dual Olympic gold medallist and former CEO of Cycling Australia, and director of the Australian Olympic Committee and Commonwealth Games Australia.

smiling woman

Kate Jenkins AO will replace Josephine Sukkar AM, who has now concluded her three-year term. Photo: National Press Club.

Education Minister establishes Implementation Advisory Committee

Education Minister Jason Clare has established the Implementation Advisory Committee, which will support continued engagement between the tertiary sector and the Commonwealth as it responds to the Australian Universities Accord.

The committee will be chaired by Education Department Secretary Tony Cook PSM, and comprise the following members:

  • Professor David Lloyd
  • Professor Verity Firth AM
  • Professor Stephen Duckett AM
  • Professor Julia Horne
  • Professor Tom Calma AO
  • Professor Barney Glover AO
  • Jenny Dodd.

Further consultation with the tertiary sector will be undertaken to inform the legislative design of the Australian Tertiary Education Commission and the new Managed Growth Funding System, including Needs-Based Funding. Other groups will consult with the community to ensure equitable reforms for people who are First Nations, disabled, and living in regional and remote areas.

The Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) voiced its strong concern regarding the absence of representatives from independent higher education providers on the committee. ITECA said these providers supported about 10 per cent of the 1.6 million students in a higher education awards program, and independent registered training organisations (RTOs) supported around 89 per cent of the 4.5 million students in skills training.

smiling man in suit

Education Secretary Tony Cook will lead the new committee as it implements significant reforms to the sector. Photo: Education Department.

New deputy chair and board member appointed to CSIRO board

Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic has appointed Ming Long AM as deputy chair and Terry Moran AC as a member of the CSIRO board.

The minister said these appointments filled current vacancies on the board, but mainly strengthened the nation’s science agency with valuable expertise in corporate governance, the research and education sectors, government and industry.

Ms Long led ASX-100 company Investa Office Fund, is currently the chair of the Diversity Council Australia and serves on the boards of Telstra, IFM Investors, QBE Insurance and CEDA. Mr Moran is a former Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, as well as the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet.

smiling man and smiling woman

Terry Moran will be a part-time CSIRO board member for three years, while Ming Long will be a part-time member and deputy chair for four years. Photos: La Trobe University, ArmstrongQ.

Andrew Carriline appointed as deputy chairperson of ANSTO board

Along with the above announcements, Minister Husic has appointed Andrew Carriline as the board deputy chairperson of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO).

The nation’s nuclear organisation and the centre of domestic nuclear expertise, ANSTO was formed in 1987 to replace the Australian Atomic Energy Commission.

After a long career at Westpac, Mr Carriline now works as a non-executive director of several organisations and is the chairman of the Business Advisory Council of the International Centre for Democratic Partnerships.

smiling man in a suit

Andrew Carriline will support the oversight of ANSTO’s new nuclear medicine manufacturing facility project over his three-year term. Photo: ANSTO.

States and Territories

New appointments to the NSW TAFE Commission Advisory Board

NSW Minister for Skills, TAFE and Tertiary Education Steve Whan has introduced five new members to the TAFE Commission Advisory Board.

The board is an advisory body that makes recommendations to the Minister on TAFE NSW services, priorities and operations.

The new board members are:

  • Charles Sturt University Pro Chancellor and Marathon Health CEO Megan Callinanis
  • Professional wheelchair racer, school teacher and disability ambassador Kurt Fearnley AO
  • Asia-Pacific Fortescue president Eva Hanlyis
  • University of Technology Sydney senior policy strategist Mary Ann O’Loughlin OAM
  • Multicultural NSW CEO Joseph La Postais.
politician speaking at a lectern with a powerpoint display behind him

NSW Minister for Skills, TAFE and Tertiary Education Steve Whan announced the new advisory board members at the inaugural Parliamentary Friends of TAFE event at NSW Parliament House. Photo: Steve Whan MP Facebook.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner announced, along with other senior government appointments

Stephen Smith has been appointed as the new permanent head of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, which is soon to be the Queensland Fire Department.

Since 1994, Mr Smith has worked in diverse specialist areas where he gained extensive knowledge and experience in emergency and crisis management both domestically and internationally.

Three senior public servants were also appointed as new director-generals.

Linda Dobe has been made the permanent Director-General for the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water, where she has been Acting Director-General since March last year.

Former Deputy Director-General at the Office of Industrial Relations, Peter McKay, has been appointed as Director-General of the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training.

Graeme Bolton is the new Director-General of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries. From May 2019 to November 2023, he was Deputy Director-General of the department, but most recently served as Deputy Director-General of the Department of Youth Justice.

fire department head

Since 1994, Stephen Smith has worked in diverse specialist areas where he gained extensive experience in emergency and crisis management both domestically and internationally. Photo: LinkedIn/Stephen Smith.

Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council expands

Queensland’s Sentencing Advisory Council (QSAC) has expanded from 12 to 14 representatives, appointed four new members, and for the first time introduced a position explicitly reserved for a victim of crime.

QSAC provides independent research and advice, seeks public views and promotes community understanding of sentencing matters.

The council’s four new members are:

  • Queensland’s Interim Victims’ Commissioner Jon Rouse APM
  • Legal Aid Queensland acting public defender Jakub Lodziak
  • Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Services principal legal officer Thelma Schwartz
  • Queensland Homicide Victims’ Support Group chair Sherrie Meyer.

Each QSAC member serves a three-year term, with the new appointments filling two additional places and two current vacancies. In December, the State Government passed laws expanding the council’s membership, increasing payments for victims and boosting support services.

man in suit in front of police logo

Jon Rouse will fill the role of Victims’ Commissioner until a permanent replacement is found. Photo: Queensland Police.

Queensland names ambassadors as it unveils new biosecurity strategy

Twenty of Queensland’s most unwanted pests have been targeted in the government’s second five-year biosecurity strategy, with six ambassadors appointed to spread the message of community vigilance.

The Queensland Biosecurity Strategy 2024-29 aims to support the efforts of government, industry and communities in managing and monitoring the threats. It also aligns with the National Biosecurity Strategy 2022-32, which means Queensland’s efforts are coordinated with the rest of the country’s safeguards.

The six appointed ambassadors or ”Biosecurity Mates” will drive community awareness of Queensland’s ”most unwanted” threats and how they can be successfully identified, managed and, where possible, eradicated.

The Biosecurity Mates are:

  • Darling Downs-Moreton Rabbit Board CEO Craig Magnussen
  • Friends of Parks Queensland executive officer Jessica Lovegrove-Walsh
  • Researcher and PhD candidate in aquatic animal health Phoebe Arbon
  • Australian Agricultural Company animal health and welfare adviser Julia Harkin
  • Cape York Weeds and Feral Animals Incorporated CEO Trevor Meldrum
  • Seed Savers Foundation director Jerry Coleby-Williams.
Fire ant

Fire ants were discovered in Australia in 2001, in Brisbane, and are one of the targeted species in the new biosecurity strategy. Photo: NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Organisation chosen to help Queensland Government’s new youth justice peak body

The Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak has been appointed as the inaugural coordinator of the Sunshine State’s new youth justice peak body.

A youth justice peak body was a key recommendation of the Queensland Family and Children’s Commission’s 2023 Children’s Rights Report. It will:

  • Work with youth justice representatives and the State Government to inform policy decisions
  • Enhance effective intervention and prevention strategies
  • Address over-representation of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander young people in the Queensland youth justice system
  • Work with communities, practitioners and policymakers to promote the safety and wellbeing of young people and their families in the system
  • Develop strategies to deliver a capable and effective youth justice workforce
  • Design and deliver campaigns targeting community service providers, and community groups, representing the view of the youth justice sector
  • Build the capability of service providers in rural and remote locations and those providing services to First Nations and culturally diverse communities.
Western Australia appoints new Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions

WA Attorney General John Quigley has appointed Justin Whalley SC as the state’s Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions.

Mr Whalley SC has been a Senior Consultant State Prosecutor since February 2016 and was appointed as Senior Counsel in 2019. In this role, he led a large team of prosecutors in high-profile and complex trials.

Tasmania elects Michelle O’Byrne as Speaker of Parliament

Labor Member for Bass Michelle O’Byrne has been elected as Speaker of the Tasmanian Parliament after the Liberals confirmed that former speaker Mark Shelton would not contest the position.

Ms O’Byrne became the speaker, uncontested, on 14 May.

Premier Jeremy Rockliff acknowledged the leadership and wise counsel Mr Shelton provided to the House in his years of service, and wished the new Speaker all the best.

man and woman (brother and sister) in parliament

Independent MP David O’Byrne said he could not be more proud of his sister Michelle being appointed as Tasmania’s Speaker Photo: @david_obyrnemp.

Leonie Hiscutt will not recontest Tasmanian seat of Montgomery

Member for Montgomery Leonie Hiscutt has announced she will not recontest her seat at the next election for the Legislative Council.

Ms Hiscutt said it had been an honour to serve her electorate for the past 11 years in the state’s Upper House, but she would not seek a return to the position at the end of her term in a year’s time.

“I would like to thank the Liberal Party and Premier Jeremy Rockliff for their support during my time, as well as the people of Montgomery for trusting me to represent them,” she said.

“My main focus over the next 12 months will be supporting the Premier to deliver on the 2030 Strong Plan for Tasmania’s Future.”

Open for consultation

Inquiry into civics, education, engagement and participation in Australia

The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters is seeking written submissions from people with direct experience of civics and citizenship education, and challenges associated with electoral participation. Submissions remain open until 24 May.

Inquiry into economic self-determination and opportunities for First Nations Australians

The Joint Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs is calling for submissions to learn about opportunities and impediments to training, employment and business development, and the economic and social infrastructure to support economic prosperity for First Nations people in the long term. Written entries are welcome until 24 May.

Response to PwC – tax regulator information-gathering powers review

Treasury is seeking stakeholder feedback on a paper examining whether the ATO information-gathering powers remain fit for purpose and assist the AFP to investigate serious criminal offences perpetrated against the tax and superannuation systems. It also looks at the limitations on the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) using formal information-gathering powers before launching a formal investigation. Submissions can be made until 31 May.

Draft National Autism Strategy

The draft National Autism Strategy, not yet agreed to by the government, is seeking feedback to improve life outcomes for Australians living with autism. Submissions close on 31 May.

Non-compete clauses and other worker restraints

Non-compete clauses in employment contracts are now squarely in Labor’s sights, with the Federal Government insisting that such business methods are thwarting competition and holding back economic growth. Responses can be made until 31 May.

National guidelines for including mental health and wellbeing in early childhood health checks

The Department of Health and Aged Care has asked the Mental Health Commission to develop national guidelines to include mental health and wellbeing in early childhood health checks (for children 0-5 years). Submissions are open until 2 June.

Updates to ASIC’s regulatory guidance for external administrators and controllers

The Australian Securities & Investments CommissHeion (ASIC) has released proposed updates that provide greater clarity on its expectations of external administrators and controllers when reporting and lodging statutory reports about alleged misconduct. Feedback on the consultation paper is open until 6 June.

Rapid uptake of automated decision-making and machine learning in the workplace

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training has begun a new inquiry calling on workers, employers, software developers and providers, academics, employer groups and trade unions regarding the digital transformation of workplaces across Australia. Submissions are welcome until 21 June.

Response to PwC – regulation of accounting, auditing and consulting firms in Australia

Treasury is seeking feedback on a paper identifying priorities to strengthen regulatory arrangements for the accounting, auditing and consulting firms in Australia. Feedback is open until 28 June.

For information on all the state and territory government projects open for consultation, follow the links below:

Federal Parliament Public Hearings

Wednesday (22 May):

National Disability Insurance Scheme Amendment (Getting the NDIS Back on Track No. 1) Bill 2024 [Provisions] – Community Affairs Legislation Committee

Time: 11 am – 5:30 pm; Chamber: Senate; Location: Committee Room 2S1, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT.

Thursday (23 May):

The capability of law enforcement to respond to cybercrime – Parliamentary Joint Committee on Law Enforcement

Time: 9:10 am – 2:10 pm; Chamber: Joint; Location: Macquarie Room, NSW Parliament, Sydney, NSW.

Inquiry into civics education, engagement, and participation in Australia – Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters

Time: 10 am – 4 pm; Chamber: Joint; Location: Committee Room 1R2/video conference, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT.

Review of Division 3 of Part III of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation Act 1979 – Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security

Time: 9:15 am – 3 pm; Chamber: Joint; Location: Committee Room 2R1, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT.

Parks Australia’s Mutitjulu Essential Services project – Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Works

Time: 10:15 – 11:15 am; Chamber: Joint; Location: Committee Room 1R3, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT.

Food and Beverage Manufacturing in Australia – House Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Resources

Time: 9 am – 3 pm; Chamber: House; Location: Mercure Sydney, Wynyard Suite, 818-820 George Street, Sydney, NSW.

Friday (24 May):

Greenwashing – Environment and Communications References Committee

Time: TBA; Chamber: Senate; Location: Parliament House, Canberra, ACT.

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