Sunday 14 November 2010

Government by committee

I had a look through the DECCW annual report today - that stands for the Department of the Environment, Climate Change and Water. Phew, no wonder they truncate it.

DECCW is a relatively small "super department", having only 3698 public servants. However, that doesn't stop the top executives from being very, very well paid. Here they are:

Ms Lisa Corbyn
Director General

Mr Simon A Y Smith
Deputy Director General, Climate Change, Policy and Programs Group

Ms Sally Barnes
Deputy Director General, Parks and Wildlife Group

Mr Joe Woodward
Deputy Director General, Environment Protection and Regulation Group

Mr Len Banks
Executive Director Scientific Services

Ms Stephanie Cross
Executive Director Corporate Services

Below is a graph that shows the number of taxpayers in each income range for 2009. I have drawn in a red arrow to show where the most lowly paid DECCW executive sits - in the 3rd bracket from the top. I can't show you where the top two sit, as they are off the chart - it only goes to $300,000.

There are only 40,000 people in the entire country that earn over $300,000, so I guess you can say that the DECCW executives aren't really doing the job for love of the environment. They must be doing because they love sitting on committees.

Lots of committees. I count about 70 committees that the DECCW runs. Around 800 people (public servants and members of the public) sit on these committees (I wonder what sort of fees they pay?)

I've sat on a few committees in my time, and the common thread running through all of them is that no work was done in them, and they had few meaningful outcomes. Yet DECCW is over run with them. I reckon their budget for tea and biscuits must be enormous.

Here's the list of 70 committees. It's quite amazing. I've also added in all the interdepartmental committees - I count about 125 of them, and the 22 significant statutory bodies that DECC has membership of.

Significant committees advising DECC

Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee
Aboriginal Water Trust Advisory Committee
Animal Ethics Committee
BioBanking Ministerial RCape Byron State Conservation Area Trust reference Group
Climate Change Fund Advisory Committee
Climate Change Science Research Network

Community Conservation Advisory Committees
Border Rivers/Gwydir CCAC
Central West CCAC
Namoi CCAC

Conservation Audit and Compliance Committee
Environmental Trust
Internal Audit Committee
Kangaroo Management Advisory Panel
Karst Management Advisory Committee
Load-based Licensing Technical Review Panel

Marine Parks Authority
Bateman’s Marine Park Advisory Committee
Cape Byron Marine Park Advisory Committee
Jervis Bay Marine Park Advisory Committee
Lord Howe Island Marine Park Authority Advisory Committee
Port Stephens–Great Lakes Marine Park Advisory Committee
Solitary Islands Marine Park Advisory Committee

National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Council

National Parks and Wildlife Regional Advisory Committees
Blue Mountains Region
Central Coast Hunter Range Region
Far South Coast Region
Far West Region
Hartley Historic Site
Hunter Region
Mid North Coast Region
North Coast Region
Northern Plains Region
Northern Rivers Region
Northern Tablelands Region
Snowy Mountains Region
South Coast Region
South West Slopes Region
Sydney North Region
Sydney South Region
Upper Darling Region
Western Rivers Region

Boards of Management
Biamanga National Park Board of Management
Gulaga National Park Board of Management
Mount Grenfell Historic Site Board of Management
Mutawintji Board of Management
Worimi Conservation Lands Board of Management

Co-management committees
Arakwal National Park Management Committee
Central Coast Hunter Range Regional Aboriginal Co-management Committee
Darug Peoples Advisory Committee
Githabul National Parks Management Committee
Goobang National Park and Snake Rock Aboriginal Area Committee
Menindee Aboriginal Elders Council
Mungo National Park Joint Management Advisory Committee
Paroo Darling National Park Co-management Group
Gawambaraay Pilliga Co-Management Committee

NSW Climate Change Council
NSW Council on Environmental Education
NSW Landcare Committee
NSW Scientific Committee
NSW State of the Environment Advisory Committee
Radiation Advisory Council
Waste Service Performance Improvement Payment Advisory Group

World Heritage Areas advisory committees
Greater Blue Mountains WHA Advisory Committee
Gondwana Rainforests Community Advisory Committee
Gondwana Rainforests Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee
Willandra Lakes WHA Advisory Committee

DECC membership of other significant statutory bodies

Brigalow and Nandewar Community Conservation Council
Bush Fire Co-ordinating Committee
Lake Illawarra Authority
Lord Howe Island Board
Natural Resources Advisory Council
Nature Conservation Trust
NSW Heritage Council
Radiation Health Committee
State Contracts Control Board
State Heritage Register Committee
Sydney Harbour Federation Trust

DECC membership of significant interdepartmental committees

Adaptation Senior Officer’s Group
Australian Collaborative Rangelands Information System Management Committee
Australian Government and New South Wales Government Natural Resource Management Joint Steering Committee
Australian Transport Council, Fuel Efficiency Working Group
Biofuels Expert Panel
Board of Surveyors and Spatial Information – Spatial Information Committee
Chief Executive Committee
Climate Change CEO’s Cluster
Climate Change Working Group
Commonwealth Fuel Standards Consultative Committee
Council of Australian Governments Adaptation Subgroup
Council of Australian Governments Working Group on Climate Change and Water
Counter Terrorism CEO’s Cluster
Data and Information Management Working Group – NSW Remote Sensing Subcommittee
Data and Information Management Working Group – NSW Spatial Data Infrastructure Subcommittee
DECC/CMA/ServiceFirst Shared Services Steering Committee
Economic and Business CEO’s Cluster
Environment Protection and Heritage Council Air Quality Working Group
Environment Protection and Heritage Council/Australian Transport Council Fuel Efficiency Working Group
Environment Protection and Heritage Council Working Group on Noise Labelling
Environment Protection and Heritage Ministerial Council Standing Committee
Environmental Trust Subcommittee: Clean Air, Healthy Communities
Environmental Trust Subcommittee: NSW RiverBank
Environmental Trust Technical Committee: Restoration and Rehabilitation Program
Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area Steering Committee
Intensive Agriculture Consultative Committee
Land Supply CEO Group
Metropolitan Planning CEO Group
Metropolitan Water CEO Committee
Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Management Team
Murray–Darling Basin Authority Acid Sulfate Soils Advisory Board
Murray–Darling Basin Authority Acid Sulfate Soils Scientific Reference Panel
Murray–Darling Basin Commission
Murray–Darling Basin Commission Salinity Management in Catchments Task Force
National Coordination Committee – Aquatic Ecosystems Task Group
National Coordination Committee – Biodiversity Working Group
National Coordination Committee – Executive Steering Committee for Australian Land Use Mapping
National Coordination Committee – Executive Steering Committee for Australian Vegetation Information
National Coordination Committee – River Health Contact Group
National Coordination Committee for Salinity Information
National Coordination Committee – Technical Advisory Group for Australian Landuse Mapping
National Committee on Soil and Terrain Information
National Environment Protection Council
National Packaging Covenant Council
Natural Resources and Environment CEO’s Cluster
Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council Standing Committee
Natural Resource Policies and Program Committee
NSW Chief Information Officers Executive Council
NSW Electric Vehicle Taskforce
NSW Feed-in Tariffs Taskforce
NSW National Oil Spill Plan Executive Committee
NSW Research Scientist Classification Committee
NSW Soil Policy Working Group
Planning and Approvals CEO’s Cluster
Premier’s Council for Active Living
Senior Officers’ Group on Energy Efficiency (reporting to the Council of Australian Governments)
State Emergency Management Committee
Sustainability CEO’s Cluster
The Living Murray Environmental Watering Group
The Living Murray MDBC Committee
Transport, Planning and Infrastructure CEO’s Cluster
Two Ways Together Coordinating Committee
Wetlands and Waterbirds Task Force

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