High-paid senior public servants won’t be replaced and a public service hiring freeze will happen as part of measures to save $3b from its COVID-hit Budget.
High-paid senior public servants won’t be replaced and a public service hiring freeze will happen as part of measures to save $3b from its COVID-hit Budget.

Hiring freeze and public servant roles to go to save $3b

THE Queensland Government plans to save $3 billion from its COVID-hit Budget through a public service hiring freeze and reducing its most highly-paid, senior workforce.

But savings will also come from slashing government advertising, cutting glossy publications and switching off social media accounts.

Treasurer Cameron Dick made the savings announcements as he produced $1 notes from his first pay packet in 1981, telling Queenslanders he knew the value of every dollar.

"With so many Queenslanders facing economic hardship ... we have to make every dollar count," he said.

"Every taxpayer dollar is precious."

In the midst of the greatest recession since the Great Depression, he said saving jobs and supporting jobs had to be the most important goal.

"There is simply no option to cut our way out of this," he said.

"The best way to fix the Budget is to fix the economy."

Following a public service pay rise freeze, public service positions at July 1, 2020 will now be maintained for 12 months.

Internal recruitment will only be used to fill non-frontline roles for 12 months.

Secondment of frontline staff to non-frontline roles will be limited and internal recruitment will only be allowed for non-frontline roles.

There will be a "natural reduction" of Senior Executive Service roles - the highest paid public servants in the bureaucracy.

He said there were too many government social media accounts with limited public audiences and they would not continue. It's understood that would allow people to be redeployed.

The use of external consultants and contractors will be reduced, and ended where possible.

And the use of glossy publications will be reduced, with the writing of annual reports stripped back to the legislative requirements, meaning "more numbers, fewer pictures", he said.

Mr Dick said while it wasn't his first choice to borrow more, austerity wasn't an option as it would lead to fewer jobs and less revenue.

"Austerity means shooting our economy in the foot," he said.

"The pathway to paying down debt is to grow our economy ... (and) job creation is our number one priority."

The Treasurer revealed a Future Fund - which was announced by his predecessor Jackie Trad as a way to pay down debt - would be introduced to the parliament this week.

Originally published as Hiring freeze, high-paid public servant roles to go to save $3b


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