Posted on April 28, 2023 by Stuart Simington and Dimitrious Havadjia

Post-election Ministry restructures – Administrative Arrangements Order 2023

Following the changeover of Government after the 25 March 2023 election to the Labor Minns government, the Governor has issued several administrative orders: Administrative Arrangements (58th Parliament) Order 2023 (58th AA), Administrative Arrangements (Administrative Changes—Miscellaneous) Order (No 2) 2023, Administrative Arrangements (Minns Ministry—Administration of Acts) Order 2023 (Ministry AA), and the Administrative Arrangements (Public Service agencies and Ministers) Order 2023 (Public AA) (together, the 2023 AAs).

All 2023 AAs commenced and have taken effect from 5 April 2023. The Minns government has indicated that further changes to departments and how they are organised are being investigated and are likely to commence on 1 July 2023, so it is possible that there will be more significant changes announced over the coming weeks and months.

However, understanding the 2023 AAs is relevant for situations where planning, local government and environmental legislation requires the concurrence of consultation with, or notification to agencies or their respective Ministers, and to ensure that references in existing legislation are correctly understood.

The Ministry AA lists the legislation that each Minister is responsible for. Because of the changes to the portfolios, the Ministers responsible for planning and environmental related matters have changed, of relevance:

  • The Minister for Heritage (Penelope Sharpe MLC) is responsible for the Heritage Act 1977. 
  • The Minister for Environment (Penelope Sharpe MLC) is responsible for the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 and the Protection of the Environment Administration Act 1991.
  • The Minister for Planning and Public Spaces (Paul Scully MP) is responsible for the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
  • The Minister for Local Government (Ron Hoenig MP) is responsible for the Local Government Act 1993. 

The full list of who the Ministers are can be found here.

The 2023 AAs do not outline any departments being amalgamated or separated, but some Ministries and the portfolios for which they are responsible have changed. Relevantly:

  • The Minister for Planning is now the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces.
  • The Minister for Environment and Heritage is now split into the Minister for Environment and the Minister for Heritage (although they are currently both held by the same person).
  • The Minister for Lands and Water is now the Minister for Lands and Property, with some responsibility transferred to the new Minister for Water.
  • The Minister for Homes is now the Minister for Housing.
  • The Minister for Cities is now assimilated into the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces.

Other material changes include:

  • The Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience is now renamed the Minister for Emergency Services and includes the former role of Minister for Flood Recovery.
  • The Minister for Metropolitan Roads is now the Minister for Roads.

The 58th AA outlines to which Minister references in any documents (including legislation) should be interpreted in light of the changes to Minister names and responsibilities. The Public AA similarly sets out the Ministers responsible for NSW Government Agencies and Departments. This reflects the changes to the portfolios, including as outlined above.

Finally, some minor changes have also been made to the Government Sector Employment Act 2013 to reflect the changed portfolios and reporting requirements of some agencies, including the Greater Cities Commission Staff Agency, Natural Resources Commission Staff Agency, and the Infrastructure NSW Staff Agency.

Further details of the changes in the 2023 AAs can be found below:

For further information on these amendments, feel free to contact Stuart Simington (02) 8235  9704.