Queensland’s new Treasurer, Cameron Dick, today announced plans to save $3 billion over four years by freezing the size of Queensland’s public service.
The bureaucracy will be capped for a full year, excluding frontline workers, and vacancies will be filled internally. Savings will also come from the decrease in the need for external consultants and contractors through loss of government work.
Further savings will also come from public servants now being able to work outside the Brisbane CBD after the coronavirus pandemic revealed not all State Government employees needed to work in offices.
The Treasurer said he found the savings over the forward estimates without cutting frontline services, public servants or selling publicly owned state assets.
The public service has increased by more than 28,000 full-time equivalent positions since the 2015 election, and after the LNP government cut 14,000 public service jobs.
Queensland was forecast to spend $25.4 billion on public service employees in 2019-20, $1.3 billion higher than the year before.
Treasurer Dick’s plan will be part of the economic and fiscal update to be delivered in September. The Government announced earlier this year that it will not deliver a full Budget before the state election on October 31 due to the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the economy.
“In this difficult economic environment, all decisions will be guided by these key priorities: creating jobs, building essential infrastructure, and delivering frontline services,” Mr Dick said.