PM Transcripts - Prime Ministers of Australia

MAJOR CHANGES IN MINISTERIAL AND DEPARTMENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES AND FUNCTIONS - 18 DECEMBER 1975

Prime Minister - Fraser, Malcolm

Media Release - 18 December 1975

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MAJOR CHANGES IN MINISTERIAL AND DEPARTMENTAL
RESPONSIBILITIES AND FUNCTIONS De( Si1
The Prime Minister gave the following details about major
changes to be made to the administrative structure:
Administrative Services
The Department of Administrative Services will include, in
addition to the functions previously held by that Department, many
of the functions carried out by the Departments of the Special
Minister of State and of the Media, which are to be abolished.
In addition, it will be responsible for the property and survey
functions of the Department of Urban and Regional Development and
the Overseas Property Bureau from the Department of Foreigii Affairs.
The Department will work closely with the Department of Prime
M~ sinister and Cabinet.
Attorney-General
This Department will now concentrate on more purely legal
aspects of the Governments work. Regulatory activities are imore
effectively situated in the Department of Business and Consumer
Affairs. It is proposed that the Attorney-General should resume
responsibility for the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation
although the Director-General of Security would have responsibility
to report directly to the Prime Minister.
Business and Consumer Affairs
This Department will assume responsibility for business practices,
bankruptcy and insolvency, patents, trade marks and copyright
froin the Attorney-General's Department, the customs and excise
functions from the Department of Police and Customs, which is to
be abolished, and consumer affairs from the Department of Science
and Consumer Affairs.


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These functions will now be administered by a Department
which is organised to have close contact with the community,
consumers and business. The Department will have a strong
practical orientation which will ensure that regulatory activities
are carried out in the public interest. The Department will
maintain close contact with other more specialised Departments.
it is proposed that the Minister for Business and Consumer
Affairs would be responsible for the-. Industries Assistance Commission,
the Temporary Assistance Authority, the Prices Justification Tribun*
and the Trade Practices Commission.
Responsibility for the future Securities and Exchange legislate
would be within this Ministry.
Employment and Industrial Relations and Immigration and Ethnic Affairs.
These proposed new Departments will result from the abol~ itioni
of the Department of Labor and Immigration, and the separation of
the employment and industrial relations functions from the immigration
functions. The creation of a Department of Immigration and Ethnic
Affairs indicates the importance placed by the Government on the
immigration programme and its concern that issues affecting migrants
and their families in Australia should receive close and sympatheti* e
attent ion in line with the Government' s announced prograim-me. The
creation of the Department will be the specific fulfilment of an
election promise given by the Coalit ion* Parties.
Environment, Housing and Community Development.
The Departments of Urban and Regional Development, the. Environment
and Tourism and Recreati-on are to be abolished as separate entities.


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The proposed new Department of Environment, Housing and
Community Developmeht would be responsible for the majority of
functions of all three Departments together with the housing
function of the Department of Housing and Construction. This
will be a large and important Department working closely with
the States. In its operation it will express the Government's
view that matters of local concern will be undertaken with
maximum consultation and concern for local conditions.
Responsibility for the National Capital Development Commission
will transfer back to the Minister for the Capital Territory. The
administration of the Housing Loans Insurance Corporation and the
in surance provisions of the Defence Service Homes Act will
be transferred from the Dept. -of . Repatriation and Compensation.
The Australian Government works functions from the Department
of Housing and Construction would be the: responisibili-ty of the
proposed new Department of Construction.
Health It is proposed that responsibility for Medibank be transferred
from the Department of Social Security to the Department of Health...
Industry and Commerce
This proposed re-naming of the Department of Manufacturing
Industry takes account of the Government's intention to widen
its functions to include tertiary industry including the tourist
industry, an increased concern with small business and a transfer
to it of responsibility for shipbuilding from the Department of
Transport. National Resources
This proposed re-naming of the Department of Minerals and
Energy indicates the broadening of the Department's functions to
include the water resources functions of the Department of
Environment and the Department of Northern Australia.


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Postal and Telecommunications
This proposed re-nam-Ling of the Postmaster-General's Department
takes account of the increase in the functions of the Department
to include all electronic media matters which are the responsibility
of the Department of the Media. The Minister for Post and
Telecommunications would be responsible for the A. B. C. and A. B. C. B.
Repatriation It is proposed -to transfer the compensation functions from the:
Department of Repatriation and Compensation to the Department of
Social Security and to transfer the Housing Insurance functions to
the D epartment of Environment, Housing and community Development.
Treasury It is proposed to transfer responsibility for the Australian
Industry Development Corporation from the Minister . for Manufacturing
Industry and the Australian Bureau of Statistics from the Special
Minister of State to the Treasurer.
Senior Appointments
As a consequence of the abolition, creation and renaming of
Departments, there will be a number of appointments to the
position of Pernaneni Head. The list of Permanent Heads of
Departments will be as follows:


The Secretary to the
Department of Aboriginal
Affairs The Secretary to the
Department of
Administrative Services
The Secretary to the Attorney-
General's Department
The Comptroller-General of
Customs ( Permanent Head
of the Department of
Business and Consumer
Affairs) The Secretary to-the
Department of the Capital
Territory The Secretary to the
Department of
Construction and Director-
General of Works
The Secretary to the
Department of Defence
The Secretary to the
Department of Education
The Secretary to the
Department of Environment-,
Housing and Community
Development The Secretary to the
Department of Foreign
Affairs The Director-General of
Health The Secretary to the
Department of
Industry and Commerce
The Secretary to the
Department of National
Resources MR. B. G. DEXTER,
MR. P. J. LAWLER, O. B. E.
MR. C. W. HARDERS, O. B. E.
MR. A. T. CARMODY, C. B. E.
MR. L. W. B. ENGLEDOW
MR. A. S. REIHER
SIR ARTHUR TANGE, C. B. E.
MR. K. N-JONES, C. B. E.
MR. R. B. LANSDOWN
MR. A. P. RENOUF, O. B. E.
DR. G. HOWELLS.
MR. N. S. CURRIE, O. B. E.
MR. J. SCULLY


The Secretary to the
Department of the
Northern Territory
The Secretary to the
Department of
Overseas Trade
The Secretary to the Postal
and Telecommunications
Department The Secretary to the
Department of Primary
Industry The Secretaryto the
Department of the Prime
Minister and Cabinet
The Secretary to the
Department of
Repatriation and
Chairman of the
Repatriation Commission
The Secretary to the
Department of Science
The Director-General of
Social Services
The Secretary to the
Department of
Transport The Secretary to the
Department of'the
Treasury MR. R. S. LIVINGSTON
MR. D. H. McKAY, O. B. E.
MP. F. J. GREEN
MR. W. IVES
MR-. J. L. MENADUE
MR. R. KINGSLAND C. B. E, D. F. C. 0
SIR HUGH ENNOR, C. B. E.
MR. L. J. DANIELS, O. B. E. 0
MR.* C. C. HALTON
SIR FREDERICK WHEELER, C. B. E. 0
Pending consideration of the filling of the Permanent Head
positions in the Department of Employment and Industrial Relations,
and Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, Mr. K. C. McKenzie, a Deputy
Secretary in the present Department of Labor and Immigration, will
act in both positions.
Consideration is being given to the placement of other Permanent
Heads of existing departments and these matters will be finalised
as soon as possible. In accordance with the statement of 9 November
1975, their rights will not be compromised.