Date Set for Aboriginal Heritage Tasmania Transition

The CPSU has been advised that Aboriginal Heritage Tasmania (AHT) will transfer from the Department of Natural Resources & Environment Tasmania (NRE Tas) to the Department of Premier & Cabinet (DPAC) on 1 September.  This is just one of a suite for machinery-of-government changes being implemented by the Rockliff Government.

While AHT will move to DPAC, the CPSU is hearing rumours that many of the responsibilities of AHT will remain with NRE Tas. In a 3-page ‘Change Summary’ provided to the union in late July we learned of the existence of an MOU between NRE Tas and DPAC which ‘includes a small number of services that will continue to be managed by NRE Tas staff‘.

The examples included were:

  • Undertaking compliance and enforcement on the Reserve estate as the statutory land manager under relevant Acts.
  • Undertaking investigations and enforcement on private land.
  • Maintaining the current Aboriginal Heritage Register.

In order to provide feedback on these proposed changes the CPSU asked for a copy of the draft MOU but were told details are still being worked through so a draft wouldn’t be provided. We also hear there have been discussions in NRE Tas about how the responsibilities remaining will be managed, even whether a specific unit needs to be established to oversee this work.

There are just three weeks until the transfer happens, but the details have not yet been resolved and the groups who may be impacted by those decisions have not been consulted. This is a pattern of behavior from the Rockliff Government. Announcing thought-bubbles with no evidence base, imposing ridiculously short timelines, not resourcing the change properly and then cutting the time for consultation and feedback so staff have no say in the change.

It is important we have documented change proposals that address members rights because these are the documents we rely on when the things you were advised verbally don’t come to fruition.

The CPSU has advised NRE Tas that if we don’t get a detailed change proposal ASAP we will seek the intervention of the Industrial Commission to force consultation.

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