The average cost of Queensland’s public servants rises to almost $100K

There were 249,525 full-time equivalent employees in the total state sector at June 30, 2018.


Since 2014, the number of public servants grew by 27,745, an increase of 12.7 per cent, mostly in the health and education sectors.

The average cost per FTE had grown from $88,664 to $99,197 over the past five years, an increase of 11.9 per cent.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has previously said she was fulfilling her pledge to restore frontline services after cuts by the former Newman LNP government.

The Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and participating in the National Redress Scheme for people who have experienced institutional child sexual abuse also led to boosted expenses in 2017-18.

However, the Commonwealth Games was delivered within its $1.51 billion budget, with $167 million left over to be returned to the Queensland government.

The general government sector, which includes departments and hospital and health services, reported its fifth consecutive operating surplus at $1.75 billion.

It was $1.6 billion higher than projected in the 2017-18 budget.

Royalty revenue, driven by higher than expected coal prices, and higher than forecast dividends and taxes, at $2.9 billion, from increased profitability in government-owned corporations in the electricity sector contributed to the higher than expected result.

However, the total state sector, including all public sector entities controlled by the state government, reported an operating deficit of $73 million, down from a surplus of $2.17 billion the previous year.

Government borrowing was expected to increase in 2018-19 to fund Queensland’s $45.8 billion capital program, announced in the June budget.

Revenue from transactions increased by $1.9 billion to $58.1 billion in the general government sector.

Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said Labor’s «out of control spending» was being paid for by ordinary Queenslanders.

«[They] have been hit with an extra $2.2 billion in taxes this year, plus higher charges like rego,» he said.

Following a shake-up of government departments after the November 2017 election, $10.83 billion in net assets were transferred between departments, which is referred to as «machinery of government» changes.

Over the past 10 years, machinery of government changes have resulted in more than 170 functions being transferred between departments, with 15 functions moving between departments up to four times.

The majority of changes occurred following the March 2009, March 2012, January 2015 and November 2017 elections.

The areas switched between departments four times within the past decade included Arts Queensland, Multicultural Affairs, Infrastructure and Planning.

Felicity Caldwell is state political reporter at the Brisbane Times

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