Agriculture and environment to be merged in radical shake-up of public service

The federal agriculture and environment departments will be merged as part of a major overhaul of the public service announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

The number of government departments will also shrink from 18 to 14 as part of a move that represents one of the most significant changes to the public sector in decades.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a major shake-up of the public service.

"Australians should be able to access simple and reliable services, designed around their needs. Having fewer departments will allow us to bust bureaucratic congestion, improve decision-making and ultimately deliver better services for the Australian people," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said at a press conference on Thursday morning.

As part of the changes, four new departments will be created each merging a number of portfolios. Five department heads will lose their jobs.

Agriculture, water and environment will be brought together in a new department.

A new mega department taking in industry, science, energy and resources will also be created.

Infrastructure, transport, regional development, communications and the arts will also be merged.

More to come.


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