Once the Legislative Assembly is dissolved and writs are issued for a general election by the Governor, the Government assumes a ‘caretaker’ role, as it is recognised that the government may change. This role continues until the election result is clear, or in the event of a change of government, until the new government is formally sworn-in.
During this period efforts are made to ensure that decisions are not taken that would bind an incoming government and/or limit its freedom of action.
The Caretaker Conventions provide guidance on the handling of business during the caretaker period. The conventions are not legally binding and DPC’s role is to provide to agencies advice in relation to their operation.
The Department of the Premier and Cabinet, led by the Director General, administers and monitors compliance with the caretaker convention. They coordinate the following formalities associated with State General Elections:
management of the Caretaker Conventions;
preparation of relevant briefing papers to advise incoming Government;
document procedures for dissolution of the Legislative Assembly and issue writs for a general election;
conduct asset audits of Ministerial Offices, Parliamentary Electorate Offices and the Leader of the Opposition’s Office in accordance with the requirements of the Financial Administration and Audit Act 1985; and
implement any new electorate and Ministerial office arrangements required following the election.