parliament house wa
The WA Governent and UDIA have welcomed the reshuffle. Image Wikimedia Commons.
  • Eight departments will have new Director Generals, many with property responsibility
  • WA Premier thanked all retiring and transferred leaders for their service
  • UDIA WA is hopeful new leadership will herald much-needed reforms

Following mergers of various state department 2017 after being newly elected, the WA government – recently re-elected in a landslide – is looking at further changes with the announcement that four Director Generals will retire, and another four moved.

Western Australia’s Public Sector Commissioner Sharyn O’Neil announced changes that will see eight new Director General’s (DG’s) of various government departments.

WA Premier Mark McGowan thanked the outgoing directors for their leadership during the pandemic.

“The public sector has seen us through some difficult times over the past 18 months brought about by the pandemic,” he said.

“In addition to responding to the State’s health needs during the crisis, sector leaders have driven the WA Recovery Plan to get WA businesses open and communities back on their feet quickly, and I thank them all for this work.”

“The departure of some directors general who are retiring has created an opportunity for renewal and rejuvenation in the senior leadership roles within the public sector.”

Mark McGowan, WA Premier and Treasurer

Several of the transferring and retiring DG’s include departments that have a direct influence on the property industry such as the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage; the Department of Environment and Water; the Department of Communities and the Department of Local Government.

The news has been welcomed by the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA WA) who regards the reshuffle as an opportunity to progress major reform that will ultimately facilitate economic growth.

“While Gail McGowan, Mike Rowe, Michelle Andrews and Duncan Ord have all contributed greatly to their respective departments over many years, this is an opportunity to put fresh eyes and a new determination to reinvigorate reform agendas in key areas including streamlining the planning system, fixing the environmental approvals system and local government reform,” said UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck in a statement.

“It is critical for all stakeholders that interact with the public sector that a collaborative regulatory culture is created to eliminate silos, expedite decision making and reduce duplicative processes.”

Tanya Steinbeck, UDIA WA CEO

Ms Steinbeck in particular wishes to implement more streamlined processes that reduce the amount of “unnecessary delays and red tape”. She added that the government’s popularity provides an opportunity for significant reform in this arena.

“With a majority in both houses and strong support from West Australians, the government has to take this opportunity to be bold and make decisions that will shape a bright and prosperous future for this state,” concluded Ms Steinbeck.

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