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Government departments axed: Fears service delivery will suffer due to Scott Morrison’s public service cuts

Prime Minister Scott Morrison today announced a dramatic shake-up of the public service, cutting the number of departments from 18 to 14.

The restructure will see five department secretaries sacked and four new super-departments created early next year.

But there are some fears the amalgamation of departments will reduce service delivery for Australians.

National Secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union, Melissa Donnelly, said it’s a problem.

“There are real issues for your listeners, for members of the Australian community who rely on government services,” she told 3AW’s Tom Elliott.

“Whether that’s calling up Centrelink to find out about your childcare subsidy or your pension, whether it’s dealing with the fallout of the robodebt debacle, or your tax return, there’s really important work delivered by public servants everyday to the Australians community.”

Ms Donnelly said today’s announcement is the latest in a series of worrying public service cuts.

“What the announcement from the Prime Minister today doesn’t deal with is the 19,000 job cuts that have already happened under the successive coalition governments, and that’s having a real impact on the members of the community who engage with and rely on a range of government services,” she said.

Ms Donnelly said the formation of the government’s first super-department, the Department of Home Affairs, shows amalgamation does not streamline services.

“It has had an impact on the work that staff are doing,” she said.

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Image: Mark Metcalfe / Stringer