Skip to main content

A Friday note - 31 October 2014

CONNECT - Message from the Chief Executive

Dear All,

We started the week with a brilliant lightning display, saw a few cold and wet days in between and finished with a fantastic 28 degrees.


A debrief was held on Wednesday following the Rolling Stones concert.  One of the issues identified was the unsafe movements of pedestrians, both on King William St and North Terrace. The improved safety of pedestrians is something we need to give increased consideration to, not just for future Oval events, but any event.


I met with the acting General Managers today and we are hoping to provide considerably more detail about functions and structure next week. There are a lot of discussions going on with staff and the material next week should be an opportunity for further consideration.  Some groups are already on the move as arrangements have been settled already which is pretty exciting.  The General Manager positions will be advertised in the week ending November 14, 2014.

Julie Sloan of Workforce Planning Global is now onboard to assist us. Julie is as an international expert in strategic and operational workforce planning, has written two books on the subject and has worked at the United Nations, Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs, the International Atomic Energy Agency and countless other international companies. Julie is working with the interim General Managers to provide tools and advice to assist in:

  • Identifying resource (workforce) demands against broad rejuvenation strategic directions
  • Identifying workforce risk assessment and mitigation strategies
  • Establishing strategic workforce planning methods and systems to help forecast and manage future workforce resource requirements.

The ultimate goal of this work is to ensure a planned approach to our future workforce needs.  As the General Managers undertake this work you may be called upon to assist.  I will continue to provide updates on their progress.

As part of the next phase of the rejuvenation, as set of draft Transition Principles have been established. The principles are based on established government and legislative provisions and set out what we will work to in transitioning to the new structure. This includes how we will fill the roles and what support services will be available.

Some of you have asked about the availability of Targeted Voluntary Separation Packages (TVSPs). Given the interim General Managers are working through the early stages of our future workforce needs, we are not yet in a position to make a call on any requests.

Supporting the transition, Investment Services has commenced four support projects – improved financial reporting, a review of the chart of accounts, simplifying internal charging and lastly re-building the budgets from a zero base. I expect these projects will identify a number of opportunities.

To ensure we are providing the community with the best possible value on our projects and programs and as we look to realise savings, work has commenced to analyse certain input costs. To start, we will consider costs including; overtime, travel costs, fleet usage, mobile phone usage, credit card usage, temporary contract staff and other areas.


With the appointment of General Managers, a number of changes now apply particularly to Level 2 and 3 delegations.  During the transition all staff are reminded to regularly review their delegation authority before signing approvals.


Ben Hewett leaves his role as Government Architect today.  The position will be advertised in due course and Kirsteen Mackay, acting General Manager, Architecture and Built Environment, will be acting in this role in the interim. Kirsteen is currently the Associate Government Architect and joined the Office for Design and Architecture SA after heading Design Review at the UK’s Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment.

Ben leaves the position having been the first Government Architect for South Australia and setting up the Office for Design and Architecture SA. He has been instrumental in leading integrated design strategy and driving quality outcomes to support the focus on revitalising inner Adelaide and delivering better outcomes for the South Australian built environment. Ben remains an advocate of South Australia's design culture being a vital part of delivering innovation, quality of life and economic sustainability for the state.


Congratulations to all involved in the planning and implementation of activities for The Rolling Stones concert.  As touched on earlier, we have identified some areas for improvement. One of the bigger issues for us is our ticketing system, particularly on the buses.  We will be looking to improve operations for future events.  On the whole, it went well and the wet weather held off for the night.

Below, is a letter from one of our staff members that captures the general sentiment from the public:

“Together with my wife I was one of the lucky people able to attend the fabulous Rolling Stones concert on Saturday night. I am pleased to provide you with feedback that the staff working in the central station were numerous, very organised and communicated well with all. We left the concert at 10.50pm were on a train in 15 mins and arrived at Hove station by 11.40. It was clear to me that lessons have been learned from both cricket and AFL events and that the organisation of the public transport from this level is now performing very well and to be commended.”

Particular thanks to the efforts of Richard Wozniak as well as Michelle Spagnoletti, Graham Sibery, Bill Gonis and their teams who worked in collaboration with other agencies including the SMA, Taxi Council, Adelaide City Council and SA Police.

Have a good weekend.

Michael Deegan