What’s in a new name?

THE Government spent $18,000 and almost a year of staff time in changing a department name to only leave the agriculture industry out of the process.

The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) is now known as the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania (NRE Tas).

DPIPWE underwent a name change in December last year and doing so, removed any recognition of primary industries from its name.

Tasmanian Country reported on the issue in November last year, before the changeover, noting the lack of recognition of agriculture in the new structure.

Tasmanian Country said: “It is astounding that the words ‘primary industries’ are being removed from the name of the current Department of Primary Industries, Water, Parks and the Environment.
“From December 1, we won’t have a department for our valuable primary industries sector, which according to the Government’s own figures generates about $3 billion per year, representing about 10 per cent of Tasmania’s economy.”

Recently, the details of the i n t e r n a l c h a n g e o v e r h a v e been made public through the Tasmanian Government’s Right to Information.

A “Conversation Starter” strategic plan, which postured “does the name DPIPWE reflect who we are and what our purpose is” was first circulated to staff in March 2021, and by September the name change had been finalised and made public.

Following the confirmation, the cost of the changeover process reached $18,395.

The costs were incurred mostly by updates to the department’s new website, which totalled $6490, and a new brand and style guide, totalling $10,000, though this cost was already under review to be updated prior to department changes, with a further $1900 spent on catering across consultation sessions.

With no distinct change within the department itself questions have been asked about the point of the change.

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