WHAT'S in a name?
I started to ponder on this as a result of the recent press coverage on that very subject, regarding a key government department.
The department in question, when I joined many years ago, was then simply called the Department of Agriculture, or in short, the D of A.
This was a bit limiting so it soon became the Department of Primary Industry which, for your information, means: "agriculture, fishing, forestry etc, as distinct from manufacturing industry" according to one dictionary.
Or, if you believe a second one: "any industry, such as dairy farming, forestry, mining etc, which is involved in the growing, producing, extracting etc, of natural resources".
Note the last two words.
SO I was in the DPI, in short - ''I'm in the Dee Pea Eye".
That didn't last very long either, and it spread its wings to embrace two other topics and became the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water, and the Environment, a really broad brief.
I would have then said "I'm in the Dee Pip Wee", even though it sounds a bit rude, but according to a document released in April last year, staff avoid saying they work at DPIPWE, as this confused people.
That happened in 2014.
Seven years later, on December 1 last year, the two words I asked you to note were inserted in the title, most of the others deleted and it was renamed: "Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania".
THIS was all covered in the Tasmanian Farmer on January 28.
The headline says it all: "Name change comes with a hefty price tag".
Setting aside the $1900 spent on catering for its consultation sessions, $6490 was spent on the department's website, and a further $10,000 on branding and updating the department's style guide, which was more than 10 years old.
It was noted that there was a need to reflect on what the department actually does.
This was done in part by premier Peter Gutwein.
"As part of the organisational restructure, the forestry policy, planning and regulatory functions that currently sit within the Department of State Growth will move into the new department, including the administration of the Forest Practices Authority and Private Forests Tasmania," Mr Guttwein said.
GETTING back to the second definition of "primary industry" at the start of this column, this suggests the main focus will be on regulation, which may turn you off.
As I said above, when I started here many years ago, the D of A was focussed on agriculture - "the science and practice of cultivating the soil and rearing animals".
Now the focus will be on natural resources - "materials or conditions existing in, or caused by, nature and capable of economic exploitation" (as defined by the Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary), and that topic cherished by the Greens, the environment.
As to providing help and running training courses on how to do that economic exploitation, I assume this will be left to TAFE, with a bit of help from the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture.
At least the name is now concise.
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