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Government relations impacted by clusters in NSW

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Clusters to make government relations easier in NSW (Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Unsplash)

The NSW Government recently outlined new changes to the machinery of government which will take effect from 1 July 2019. The Government will restructure its various services clusters and agencies to improve efficiencies. While this is intended to make the public’s engagement with government easier, what will it mean for the business sector and the government relations strategies of companies?

New Government clusters

The changes follow the re-election of the Coalition Government led by Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Eight clusters will deliver the operations of the NSW Government: Premier and Cabinet; Treasury; Customer Service; Planning and Industry; Transport; Health; Education; and Stronger Communities. The new arrangements mean that the existing departments of Finance, Services & Innovation; Industry; Planning & Environment; Family & Community Services; and Justice will cease. Their functions will transition over the coming months into just three clusters: Customer Service; Planning and Industry; and, Stronger Communities clusters. (The Department of Premier & Cabinet website has detailed information on NSW’s Machinery of Government.)

Customer Service is meant to be a one stop destination for NSW citizens seeking services from government. The Government has said that it wants to prioritise digital transformation with this new agency and deliver increased efficiency. This could mean opportunities for businesses in the digital innovation space looking to assist the Government in better delivery of services.

The Planning and Industry cluster unites the former Planning & Environment and Industry clusters. The Government has said that it wants to redouble its emphasis on regional NSW. There’s an opportunity for businesses which are part of long-term planning or infrastructure in to work with the government in the development of regional areas of the State.

The Stronger Communities agency links the former Justice and Family and Community Services clusters together. The government wants to focus on prevention and early intervention into the social welfare system within the entire law and order system.

Government relations success

Overall the announcement means that the machinery of government is more concentrated and streamlined. This will allow business to more easily identify and forge strong relationships with decision-makers and influencers. Organisations will still need to undertake stakeholder mapping and audits, and develop appropriate strategies and messaging for their government and political engagement agendas; but they will likely find the task made easier.

Working with a bipartisan government relations firm remains the best way to understand and forge strong relationships with key decision-makers and influencers. For more information about the new clusters and how to with decision-makers in the NSW Government, contact us via info@cgrp.com.au.