The Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has announced changes to the structure of the Australian Public Service (APS) which will see a reduction in the number of Government departments from 18 to 14.
The changes, which will take effect on 1 February 2020, will include the creation of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, which will consolidate:
- the current Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development; and
- the current Department of Communications and the Arts.
It is uncertain at this time where the Arts portfoliio will sit amongst the departmental changes.
The Australian Government has also announced the passage of legislation through Parliament which it says will ease the regulatory burden on the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors.
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, said the changes will help strengthen the communications sector by enabling greater flexibility to respond to market changes.
“The Morrison Government is focused on fostering growth, innovation and competition in the communications sector. This legislation removes redundant obligations and streamlines existing telco and broadcasting regulation,” Minister Fletcher said.
The Communications Legislation Amendment (Deregulation and Other Measures) Act 2019includes improvements to the laws governing telephone numbering, classification for free-to-air television and access to information on communication industry performance, market developments, consumer trends and industry compliance.