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Queensland winds back employee expenses

by Justin Hendry •
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Queensland’s public sector employee expenses have fallen by $433 million since 2011-12, according to the 2013-2014 Report on State Finances.  Between 2012-13 and 2013-14, employee expenses shrank by 1.7% when costs associated with one-off redundancy payments are included.

However, employee expenses actually grew 0.7% between 2012-13 and 2013-14 if redundancy payments are excluded.

The report claims that “service delivery performance across a broad range of indicators has improved,” with increased efficiency in agencies including Health, Education, Housing and Communities.

While Queensland continues to operate in arrears with a total fiscal deficit of $2.58 billion, the 2013-14 period represented the smallest governmental debt since 2006-07.

Notwithstanding this, Queensland’s Non-financial Public Sector debt remains high relative to other states.

Intermedium reported in September 2014 that Queensland Public Service FTE figures exceeded the number used in 2014-15 Budget modelling. The QPS Workforce Quarterly Profile showed a 1 percent rise in staffing in the June quarter from 193,852 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) staff to 195,724.

The 2013-2014 Report on State Finances lists the number of General Government Sector FTE on 30 June at 199,283 as it includes controlled entities. This figure does not include Public Non-financial Corporations.  

Premier Newman’s first Budget promised to reduce staffing by 14,000 FTEs of which 10,600 would go via redundancy and the remainder through natural attrition.

It has been suggested to Intermedium by Federal Government sources that the average total cost of employing a public servant is estimated to be approximately $100,000 (including salary, superannuation, workers compensation, accommodation, ICT equipment and support, etc). 

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