Three senior department bosses have been sacked by the new Labor government as part of a major overhaul of the New South Wales public sector.
- There had been speculation the new Premier would sack some of the department heads
- The announcement comes after the Premier said the metro project needed “rescuing”
- The Department of Premier and Cabinet will be dissolved in July and replaced with an alternative model
Secretary of Treasury Paul Grimes, secretary of education Georgina Harrisson and secretary of Transport for NSW Rob Sharp have all been shown the door.
Premier Chris Minns said their jobs will soon be advertised for recruitment.
There had been speculation for some weeks the Minns government would clean out some public service bureaucrats, with the transport boss expected to be tapped on the shoulder.
Yesterday, the premier took aim at the Sydney metro rail project, saying it needed “rescuing” while announcing an independent review into the cost blowouts.
Transport Minister Jo Haylen said every day she was discovering more “key details” the former administration did not reveal to the public.
Mr Sharp was embroiled in the train network saga that brought Sydney to a standstill in February last year after his version of events differed from that of transport minister David Elliott.
It was widely known the pair had a strained relationship.
Last year Ms Harrisson was involved in protracted industrial disputes with the teachers’ union over pay and conditions.
One of Mr Minns’s key election promises was to lift the public wage cap and sit down at the negotiating table with essential workers to map out “the next stage forward”.
Those negotiations will soon begin as some mid-year contracts come up for renewal.
Until the jobs are re-filled, Michael Coutts-Trotter will be acting secretary of treasury, former head of Sydney Trains Howard Collins will act as the secretary of transport, and Murat Dizdar will be acting secretary of education.
This morning the government also announced it would reinstate the Cabinet Office, a model that underpinned the governments of former Liberal premier Nick Greiner and Labor premier Bob Carr.
The Cabinet Office will be made up of experts in legal, policy and governance and replace the existing Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) as of July 1.
It will provide expert policy advice, assist with all matters relating to national cabinet and oversee the administration of the ministerial code of conduct.
A new separate Premier’s Department will also be set up to manage the premier’s statutory responsibilities.