Part 2: Department overview

Role and functions

The department is responsible for designing and implementing the Australian Government's infrastructure, transport, regional development and cities policies, programs and regulations. This supports the government in achieving a strong economy and thriving communities, now and for the future.

The department delivers against five purposes through eight Budget programs:

  • Supporting economic growth through transport
  • Making travel safer
  • Increasing transport access
  • Supporting regional development, local communities and cities
  • Providing good governance in the territories

Purposes

In 2017–18 the department worked to achieve the five purposes outlined in Table 2.1.

Table 2.1 Departmental purposes and outcomes
PurposeRelated Outcome, set out in the
2017–18 Portfolio Budget Statements
Supporting economic growth through transport
Improving transport efficiency and sustainability to facilitate the movement of people and freight
Outcomes 1 and 2 Outcome 1: Improved infrastructure across Australia through investment in and coordination of transport and other infrastructure
Outcome 2:
An efficient, sustainable, competitive, safe and secure transport system for all transport users through regulation, financial assistance and safety investigations
Outcome 3: Strengthening the sustainability, capacity and diversity of our cities and regional economies including through facilitating local partnerships between all levels of government and local communities; through reforms that stimulate economic growth; and providing grants and financial assistance
Outcome 4: Good governance in the Australian territories through the maintenance and improvement of the overarching legislative framework for self-governing territories, and laws and services for non-self-governing territories
Making travel safer
Minimising the number and severity of transport safety incidents
Outcomes 1 and 2
Increasing transport access
Connecting people, communities, businesses and markets
Outcomes 1 and 2
Supporting regional development and local communities
Delivering jobs and economic growth for regional Australia and improving standards of living through influencing policy, investing in infrastructure and building community capability
Outcomes 1 and 3
Providing good governance in the territories
Delivering services, legislative frameworks and infrastructure
Outcome 4

Mapping our purposes, programs and outcomes

Figure 2.1 Departmental purpose, programs and outcomes at 30 June 2018

refer to Table 2.1 Departmental purposes and outcomes

Organisational structure

At 30 June 2018 the department comprised nine business divisions supported by the Corporate Services Division, which provided essential services and advice to all divisions.

Figure 2.2 Organisational structure at 30 June 2018

organisational structure

Ministers

From 1 July 2017 to 27 October 2017 the department was accountable to:

  • Senator the Hon Fiona Nash, Minister for Regional Development and Minister for Local Government and Territories
  • the Hon Darren Chester MP, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
  • the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Urban Infrastructure

When Minister Nash left Parliament on 27 October 2017, Minister Chester took over her portfolio responsibilities. Minister Chester's official title remained Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.

A reshuffle of ministerial responsibilities on 20 December 2017 made the department accountable to the following ministers:

  • the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
  • the Hon Dr John McVeigh MP, Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government
  • the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities
  • the Hon Damian Drum MP, Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister

On 26 February 2018 a further reshuffle occurred; the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP was replaced by the Hon Michael McCormack MP, and the Hon Damian Drum MP was replaced by the Hon Keith Pitt MP. At 30 June 2018 therefore, the department was accountable to:

  • the Hon Michael McCormack MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
  • the Hon Dr John McVeigh MP, Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government
  • the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities
  • the Hon Keith Pitt MP, Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister

Executive team

Dr Steven Kennedy PSM: Secretary

Dr Steven Kennedy PSM: SecretaryDr Steven Kennedy is the Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities, a position he has held since 18 September 2017.

In his previous role as Deputy Secretary in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, he led work on the cities agenda, regulatory reform, public data and digital innovation. Steven was previously a deputy secretary at the:

  • Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
  • Department of the Environment
  • former Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education
  • former Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency

He was also Head of Secretariat of the Garnaut Climate Change Review.

Steven was seconded twice to the Prime Minister's Office from the Department of the Treasury, working as the Director of Cabinet and Government Business and a senior economic adviser. He held a number of positions at the Treasury, including General Manager of the Infrastructure, Competition and Consumer Division and the Domestic Economy Division. Steven began his career in the public service as a cadet at the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Before joining the public service, Steven trained and worked as a nurse.

Steven holds a PhD and a Masters in Economics from the Australian National University and a Bachelor of Economics (First Class Honours) from the University of Sydney. In 2016 he was awarded the PSM for outstanding public service in the area of climate change policy.

Mr Mike Mrdak AO: Secretary (to 17 September 2017)

Until his transfer to the Department of Communications and the Arts in September 2017, Mike Mrdak was the department's Secretary, and served in that role from June 2009.

Ms Judith Zielke PSM: Deputy Secretary

Ms Judith Zielke PSM: Deputy SecretaryJudith Zielke is responsible for Regional Development and Local Government, Territories and Corporate Services.

Since it was established in March 2014, Judith has also been Chief Coordinator of the Joint Agency Coordination Centre, coordinating the Australian Government's support for the search into missing flight MH370. In 2015 Judith was awarded the PSM for outstanding public service in leading the Joint Agency Coordination Centre.

Judith has had a lengthy public sector career encompassing a range of policy advice and implementation positions in the areas of trade, Attorney-General's, industry and innovation and, most recently, infrastructure.

Judith is a board member of the Australian New Car Assessment Program, the Queensland Reconstruction Authority and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. She was previously a member of the National Association of Testing Authorities board, and the board of the Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand. She also chairs the department's performance and reporting committee, and is the department's Indigenous champion and privacy champion.

Ms Pip Spence PSM: Deputy Secretary

Ms Pip Spence PSM: Deputy SecretaryPip Spence's responsibilities include Aviation and Airports, Surface Transport Policy and Portfolio Coordination and Research.

Before being appointed Deputy Secretary, she was Executive Director of the Aviation and Airports Division. She has also held a number of senior leadership roles in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. In 2013 Pip was awarded the PSM for outstanding public service and contribution to the Australian community through the telecommunications regulations reform associated with implementation of the National Broadband Network.

Pip is chair of the department's finance and operations committee and is the department's disability and gender equality champion. Pip has a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Tasmania and a Graduate Diploma in Economics from the Australian National University.

Mr Luke Yeaman: Deputy Secretary

Ms Luke Yeaman: Deputy SecretaryLuke Yeaman oversees the department's Infrastructure Group. His responsibilities include cities, infrastructure investment, Western Sydney Airport, and inland rail and rail policy.

Before joining the department, Luke was First Assistant Secretary, Industry, Infrastructure and Environment with the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. During his time there, he was an Assistant Secretary working in areas including fiscal policy, taxation policy, incoming government briefs, Northern Australia White Paper and global economic policy. Before this, Luke worked at the Office of National Assessments and the Department of the Treasury.

Luke is the chair of people committee and commenced his career in Treasury's Graduate Program after studying economics at Monash University.

The portfolio

This report focuses on the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities. Information on portfolio entities can be obtained from their annual reports and websites. The entities in the portfolio at
30 June 2018 were:

Commonwealth companies in the portfolio at 30 June 2018 were:

Eight portfolio entities, and the department, belong to the general government sector. Table 2.2 details each entity's purposes.

Table 2.2 Information on portfolio entities in the general government sector at 30 June 2018
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, the Hon Michael McCormack MP
Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government, the Hon Dr John McVeigh MP
Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP
Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Keith Pitt MP
Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities
Secretary Dr Steven Kennedy PSM
Purposes Supporting economic growth through transport
Improving transport efficiency and sustainability to facilitate the movement of people and freight

Making travel safer
Minimising the number and severity of transport safety incidents

Increasing transport access
Connecting people, communities, businesses and markets

Keeping transport secure
Preventing security incidents in aviation, maritime and offshore oil and gas sectors

Supporting regional development and local communities
Delivering jobs and economic growth for regional Australia and improving standards of living through influencing policy, investing in infrastructure and building community capability

Providing good governance in the territories
Delivering services, legislative frameworks and infrastructure
Australian Maritime Safety Authority
Chair Mr Stuart Richey AM
Chief Executive Officer Mr Mick Kinley
Purpose The Australian Maritime Safety Authority reflects its purpose through a vision and mission

Vision: Safe and clean seas, saving lives

Mission: Ensuring safe vessel operations, combatting marine pollution, and rescuing people in distress
Australian Transport Safety Bureau
Chief Commissioner Mr Greg Hood
Purpose Improve the safety of, and public confidence in, aviation, rail and marine transport through:
  • the independent investigation of transport accidents and other safety occurrences
  • safety data recording, analysis and research
  • fostering safety awareness, knowledge and action
Civil Aviation Safety Authority
Chair Mr Jeffrey Boyd
Chief Executive Officer and Director of Aviation Safety Mr Shane Carmody
Purpose Maintaining, enhancing and promoting the safety of civil aviation, with particular emphasis on preventing aviation accidents and incidents
Infrastructure Australia
Chair Ms Julieanne Alroe
Chief Executive Officer Mr Philip Davies
Purpose Improve decision-making on matters relating to infrastructure

Advise governments and others on infrastructure matters including the better assessment of infrastructure needs and prioritisation of infrastructure projects

Promote best practice in infrastructure planning, delivery and operation
Infrastructure and Project Financing Agency
CEO Ms Leilani Frew
Purpose Provide independent commercial and financial advice to support the delivery of Australian Government infrastructure projects

Build the Australian Government's capability to deliver infrastructure priorities

Strengthen confidence in the Australian Government's investment through better informed investment decisions and investment management
National Capital Authority
Chair Mr Terry Weber
Chief Executive Officer Ms Sally Barnes
Purpose To fulfil the NCA's statutory functions and purposes, and better inform and educate the community about the importance of Canberra as the National Capital
National Transport Commission
Chair Ms Carolyn Walsh
Chief Executive Officer and Commissioner Mr Paul Retter AM
Purpose Develop and propose changes to national law, model law and other related instruments and guidelines to improve transport productivity, efficiency, safety, environmental performance and regulatory efficiency

Maintain and monitor those reforms agreed by the Transport and Infrastructure Council

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Last Updated: 12 November, 2018