Morrison swings axe through public service

Scott Morrison is swinging an axe through the public service with several department heads bound for the chopping block.

The prime minister is slashing the number of government departments from 18 to 14 in an effort to cut red tape and improve services.

“Having fewer departments will allow us to bust bureaucratic congestion,” he told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.

Several department secretaries will be sacked in the purge.

Four new mega departments will be created early next year:

* Education, Skills and Employment

* Agriculture, Water and the Environment

* Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

* Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications.

Labor deputy leader Richard Marles urged the prime minister to tread carefully.

“Obviously the public service has a very significant role to play and there needs to be stability within the public service,” Mr Marles Sky News.

“I think it’s really important – particularly at this time, given all the challenges that we’re facing – that the government is managing the public service in a way which maintains stability and ultimately maintains morale.”

Earlier this year, the prime minister said the Australian Public Service needed to “evolve” and in some cases “conventional wisdom needs to be challenged”.

He also called for “congestion-busting” to encourage new ideas on how to improve services.

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