Territory Stories

Debates - 23 August 1979



Debates - 23 August 1979

Other title

Second Assembly, Second Session


Debates for 2nd Assembly 1977 - 1980; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 2nd Assembly 1977 - 1980




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory




Northern Territory. Legislative Assembly -- Periodicals

Publisher name

Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

Place of publication


File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

DEBATES - Thursday 23 August 1979 Public Service Act; and government housing policy has been reviewed. The government has taken the initiative in streamlining its administrative processes in the service. These include continually reviewing or amending instructions concerning the administration of conditions of service to simplify procedures and meet Northern Territory needs and devolving recruitment responsibilities to departments and prescribed authorities. The creation of an internal audit bureau is already proving to be a successful innovation and is expected to become a major contributer to improvements in service efficiency, accounting and administrative regularity. The bureau will report on operations where internal control and effectiveness can be upgraded. Positive action has been taken on identifying activities which could be better carried out by private industry. A committee has been formed to undertake this task and the government eagerly awaits its results and any phased plan of implementation. It is a fact that a substantial number of additional senior positions have been created in the public service following the transfer from the Australian Public Service. These senior positions are necessary to not only administer the departments which have been created but also each department has a need for senior staff of the calibre to develop and advise on policy. The structuring of the service is such that there is an adequate lower base for recruiting an expanded middle level of employees to service the public and senior management tapering to a relatively small number of senior people in managerial and policy advising positions. The public service profile, whilst varying from department to department depending on the actual functions carried out, very much follows the normal pattern which would be seen in any public service. This government has a positive policy of decentralisation and regionalisation. A great deal of thought has been put into bringing the administration closer to the people, particularly in the main regional centres. The Departments of Health and Education are structured on a north and south regional basis whilst the Department of Community Development has regional offices in all main centres. The Department of Transport and Works also has a major centre in Alice Springs and regional offices in the other major towns. The Department of Community Development provides, through its offices in the various regional centres, a service if other departments which are not represented in the town require a particular activity to be carried out by community development on their behalf. Other departments such as Primary Production have staff scattered throughout the Territory and all departments are looking at ways and means of increasing their regional activity so that decision-making is as close to the work base and community as possible. The Territory Parks and Wildlife Commission and the Tourist Board have their headquarters in Alice Springs. It is important that centres outside of Darwin also have direct access to the service which should be capable of responding quickly to public demands in these centres. With this in mind, the government has endorsed the concept of decentralisation and regionalisation of the service. The efficiency and effectiveness of the public service is directly related to the skills, attitude and knowledge of its employees. The government realises the need to develop our own employees and we have made available to management a very well equipped resource centre with specialist staff capable of assisting management in assessing its needs and advising suitable development programs. In addition, we have encouraged employees to undertake further study by making study leave provisions more flexible and we are currently looking at the introduction of an executive development scheme. It must be seen that, although we are only a fledgling service, we are developing a public' service that is both unique and 1745

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