Abbott to abolish Department of Regional Australia

THE Department of Regional Australia will be abolished as part of a wide restructure of the Commonwealth public service under the Abbott Government.

A statement announcing the restructure was released just hours after Prime Minister Tony Abbott was officially sworn in today.

Under the changes, the functions of the department - which also controlled local government, the arts and sports - will be moved to other departments.

"This means the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport will no longer exist," the statement reads.

Regional development function will now come under the responsibility of the Department of Infrastructure, along with local government and territories.

Other machinery of government changes included customs and border protection moving from the Attorney-General's department to the Department of Immigration and education and employment being split into two separate departments.

Aged care and the National Disability Insurance Scheme will come under the control of Department of Social Services and climate change will go to the Environment Department.

Responsibility for the arts will go to the Attorney-General's department and sports to Health.

Energy, resources and domestic tourism will now be controlled by the Department for Industry, making way for the removal of the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism.

International tourism promotion will come under the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade; while policy for small business will sit with the Treasury.

The restructure also comes with the resignations of three key secretaries, Dr Don Russell, Blair Comley and Andrew Metcalfe, from various departments.

Treasury secretary Dr Martin Parkinson has also notified the new government he will stand down mid-2014.


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