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Queensland Health takes brunt of redundancies

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brisbanetimes.com.au senior reporter

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Budget signals end of pain: Nicholls

Treasurer Tim Nicholls delivers his first state budget, saying 14,000 public service jobs will go but that will be "the extend of the fiscal repair task", as he boosts health funding and hikes mining taxes.

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UPDATED:

More than 4100 Queensland Health employees would be paid redundancies, the Newman government revealed as it detailed the 14,000 public service jobs to go in one of the largest-ever transformations of the state's public service.

Separately, about 500 jobs will be cut from Queensland Rail, while the rail operator's senior management levels will be reduced.

Queensland Health staff will be hit hard in staff cuts handed down in today's budget.

Queensland Health staff will be hit hard in staff cuts handed down in today's budget.

These job cuts were not spelt out in today’s budget papers as Queensland Rail is one of the state’s government-owned corporations and is not classed as a department.

Transport Minister Scott Emerson this afternoon announced the government planned to reduce Queensland Rail’s corporate and support areas by around 500 personnel and cut the number of executive and general manager positions from 77 to 32.

Hundreds of job cuts would be achieved through voluntary redundancy payments and winding back contractors, he said.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls outlines his first state budget.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls outlines his first state budget. Photo: Harrison Saragossi

Mr Emerson said Queensland Rail would start consultation with the employees and unions on the proposal immediately.

“I want to work with unions to hear their ideas of where we can identify savings in Queensland Rail to make it more reliable, frequent, and affordable,” Mr Emerson said in a statement.

The announcement came after budget papers showed 10,600 Queensland public servants would be offered redundancies, while a total of 14,000 public service positions set to go.

This does not include job losses at Queensland Rail, where only an estimated savings figure of $117 million by 2014-15 is shown in the budget papers.

The reason for the difference between the 10,600 public service redundancies and 14,000 positions being cut is that not everyone leaves with a payout.

The extra job losses will come from government not filling vacant positions and from temporary and contract staff whose contracts are about to end.

The smaller figure of more than 2700 Health Department jobs to be lost announced on Friday was a "net" figure after some new jobs were filled, officials at the budget media briefing explained today.

The 10,600 redundancies will cost the government $800 million and after paying for redundancies the move allows savings of $3.7 billion over the next four years.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls said Labor had let the public service grow as a form of "economic stimulus".

Mr Nicholls said this "perpetrated a myth" on the public service, but "also on the people of Queensland".

"Anybody who thinks the government wanted to take this path is grievously mistaken," he said.

"They don't really know me, they don't really know the Premier and they don't know this government."

The other big cuts comes from the merger of QBuild and Project Services, where 1054 full-time equivalent jobs will go.

Overall, 1425 full-time equivalent staff will be offered redundancies, with Housing and Public Works Minister Bruce Flegg estimating the job cuts would save "around $120 million a year".

"I can confirm that amalgamating the two units will result in a reduction of around 550 positions from the current QBuild workforce and a reduction of approximately 350 positions from the current Project Services workforce," he said.

"In addition, there are approximately 150 vacant positions across the two workforces that will not be filled."

The result of the merger was a commercialised entity "to progressively increase the outsourcing of services to the private sector", Dr Flegg said.

Redundancies announced today by portfolio:

Aboriginal, Torres Strait and Multicultural Affairs

  • Redundancies: 15
  • Staff remaining: 363
  • Staff as at June 30: 381

Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry

  • Redundancies: 450
  • Staff remaining: 1948
  • Staff as at June 30: 2617

Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services

  • Redundancies: 385
  • Staff remaining: 6045
  • Staff as at June 30: 6908

Community Safety

  • Redundancies: 345
  • Staff remaining: 10,579
  • Staff as at June 30: 11,004

Education, Training and Employment

  • Redundancies: 405
  • Staff remaining: 66,204
  • Staff as at June 30: 66,725

Energy and Water Supply

  • Redundancies: 135
  • Staff remaining: 273
  • Staff as at June 30: 298

Environment and Heritage Protection

  • Redundancies: 220
  • Staff remaining: 1117
  • Staff as at June 30: 1336

Health

  • Redundancies: 4140
  • Staff remaining: 66,100
  • Staff as at June 30: 69,003*

Housing and Public Works

  • Redundancies: 1425
  • Staff remaining: 3989
  • Staff as at June 30: 5448

Justice and Attorney General

  • Redundancies: 510
  • Staff remaining: 4715
  • Staff as at June 30: 6103

Local Government

  • Redundancies: 15
  • Staff remaining: 105
  • Staff as at June 30: 120

National Parks

  • Redundancies: 130
  • Staff remaining: 1329
  • Staff as at June 30: 1382

Natural Resources and Mines

  • Redundancies: 360
  • Staff remaining: 2444
  • Staff as at June 30: 2756

Police

  • Redundancies: 215
  • Staff remaining: 14,978
  • Staff as at June 30: 14,677

Premier and Cabinet (includes ministerial and opposition offices, shared services and CITEC)

  • Redundancies: 45
  • Staff remaining: 621
  • Staff as at June 30: 646

Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts

  • Redundancies: 110
  • Staff remaining: 1895
  • Staff as at June 30: unprovided

State Development, Infrastructure and Planning

  • Redundancies: 145
  • Staff remaining: 800
  • Staff as at June 30: 995

Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games

  • Redundancies: 15
  • Staff remaining: 107
  • Staff as at June 30: 123

Transport and Main Roads

  • Redundancies: 1450
  • Staff remaining: 7360
  • Staff as at June 30: 9166

Treasury and Trade

  • Redundancies: 85
  • Staff remaining: 1094
  • Staff as at June 30: 1127

Additional reporting: Daniel Hurst

* Correction: the figure has been amended.

46 comments

  • The only way the pain will end is with Newman and Nicholls gone.

    Commenter
    Frankie Fearless
    Location
    Brisbane
    Date and time
    September 11, 2012, 2:52PM
    • Yes of course, Lets go back to Labor burning through money, selling our assets and generally ruining everything they touch.

      Commenter
      O
      Date and time
      September 11, 2012, 3:00PM
    • O, why not consider the Walker report saying that the Costello "audit" is a sham?
      O, why not consider the Quinn report saying that the Costello "audit" is a sham?
      O, why assert that Labor are "generally ruining everything they touch" without providing even one teensy, weensy little bit of evidence to back up that rather BIGGISH claim?
      O, why does the Newman "Government" not tell us how much money it's spending on Campbell Newman's spin doctor unit?
      O, why does Tim Nicholls insist that "anybody who thinks the government wanted to take this path is grievously mistaken," that "They don't really know me, they don't really know the Premier and they don't know this government", and yet Campbell Newman himself said he enjoyed "swinging the axe" in obvious reference to public servant cuts. He also delighted in comparing sacking public servants to cleaning up dog excrement.

      Commenter
      Oh dear
      Date and time
      September 11, 2012, 3:22PM
    • Whoops? Did I hear Labour sold assets? Yes. But what about Nicholls telling us that he does not need to tell the public if he decides to sell assets, or need a mandate!

      Turn your back and the assets will be gone!!!

      At least Bligh was honest about it even though she failed to explain to the public why it was necessary.

      This lot does what it likes and then spins later.

      Commenter
      TiredOfSpin
      Date and time
      September 11, 2012, 3:43PM
    • O Address the isuues of the lies of Costello and Newman and then you might have some credibility.

      Commenter
      Pollyho
      Date and time
      September 11, 2012, 4:37PM
    • O And how much will Nicholls save by getting us back to AAA rating - $100m. How much did he give his racing mates? Would it have been $100m? These are economic vandals as well as being liars!

      Commenter
      Pollyho
      Date and time
      September 11, 2012, 4:40PM
    • O:
      "Yes of course, Lets go back to Labor burning through money, selling our assets and generally ruining everything they touch."

      As compared to 1% reduction in growth, 1% increase in unemployment and nearly a billion in assett sales by Newman in just a couple of months.

      Commenter
      Goresh
      Date and time
      September 11, 2012, 5:44PM
  • And if the economy gets worse, there is now the easy option to sack even more. Somehow, I can't see his being in any way a good thing, but time will tell, while we all go to hell, so no one get sick. Maybe the LNP wonder why everyone just doesn't have private health care, like they do.

    Commenter
    wdawes
    Date and time
    September 11, 2012, 2:56PM
    • Shifting jobs from the Public Sector to the Private Sector will only cause a budget blowout as Private Sector chase profits, the Public Sector provide services for all!!! Your accounting is fundamentally flawed!

      Commenter
      Susan
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      September 11, 2012, 2:59PM
      • No incorrect if contracting is done correctly you will save money

        Commenter
        doh
        Date and time
        September 11, 2012, 3:26PM

    More comments

    Comments are now closed

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