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THE FIRST KEATING MINISTRY

New, tiny

tourism

department

By JACK WATERFORD

A new mini-department of Tour ism, with fewer than 40 public ser vants, to be administered for the time being by the head of one of the major departments, Geoff Miller, is the only organisational rearrange ment of the Keating Cabinet re

shuffle.

Mr Keating's announcement of the re shuffle confirms also that the new head of (lie department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, (appointed on Christmas Eve to take up his appointment on Christmas Day) is Dr Mike Keating, formerly Secret ary of the Department of Finance. The former head, Mr Mike Codd, had his appointment terminated by an Executive Council meeting yesterday.

The Prime Minister, Paul Keating, an nouncing the changes yesterday, said Mike Codd had given outstanding service to government. Mr Codd would be ap pointed to the board of the Overseas Tele communications Commission and Qantas "which will enable him to contin ue his distinguished contribution to the public sector of this country".

Dr Keating, who had been nearly six years at Finance, was previously Secret ary of Employment and Industrial Rela tions. His earlier career included two periods of work for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Develop ment in Paris, and service in the Bureau of Statistics, Urban and Regional Devel opment and Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Mr Keating said that the Department of Tourism was being carved out of the

Department of Arts, Sport, Tourism, the Environment and Territories "in recogni tion of the important and special needs of that industry to the economy and rural

Australia".

Mr Miller is Secretary of Primary In dustries and Energy.

While increased attention to tourism

may be welcomed by the tourist industry, the creation of the department is likely to be criticised strongly by observers of pub lic administration, as defying the "sense" of the creation of megadepartments five

years ago.

Done primarily to find a seat at the Cabinet table for Alan Griffiths, it was not necessary even in those terms, there being scope for two ministers from the one department to be in Cabinet (as in Transport and Communications, both Senator Graham Richardson and Senator Bob Collins now seated, or previously, in the double representation in Cabinet of Foreign Affairs and Trade).

Although yesterday's administrative arrangements orders are confined to the creation of Tourism and the recreation of what will now be Arts, Sport, the environ ment and Territories, the new ministerial list accentuates the divided responsibili ties of some junior ministers, Alan Grif fiths has responsibilities now in two departments, and so does David Simmons, Minister for Local Govern ment (under the Minister for immigra tion, Gerry Hand) and Minister for Family Support (under the Minister for Social Security, Neal Blewett).

Mike Codd's departure the end of

an era - Page 8

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