Savings and debt plan

The Queensland Government will implement a savings and debt plan to support economic recovery and target $3 billion in savings over four years.

The new measures will help Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs through the following priorities:

  • Creating and supporting jobs
  • Building essential infrastructure
  • Delivering frontline services.

There will also be a key focus on harnessing innovation and ensuring productivity improvements drive the strength of the Queensland economy into the future.

This savings and debt plan will achieve savings by:

1. Focusing on core business

As the State emerges from COVID-19, the Queensland Government will ensure that public service agencies focus on core tasks that deliver a recovery as soon and as strong as possible. This will mean cutting back on non-essential activities and reviewing agency activities in order to make sure government is focused on what is important now.

All Government activity must be focused on the delivery of essential government services and the recovery of the Queensland economy, particularly sustaining, supporting and creating jobs.

Key elements of this strategy include:

  • Lapsing time limited programs: programs that are time limited will be either integrated into core business or ceased.
  • Prioritisation of outcomes: agencies will not take on any new functions and will implement prioritisation plans for existing functions.
  • Agency FTE cap: excluding frontline staff, Departments staff levels to be maintained at 1 July 2020 levels for 12 months.
  • Public sector wage freeze: in accordance with previously announced government policy no public service pay rises in 2020-2021.
  • Marketing restrictions: no marketing other than public and road safety, tourism promotion, or Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs economic recovery activities including infrastructure development and industry attraction.
  • Simplifying government communications: this includes streamlining and simplifying Annual Reports, deactivating non-essential or limited reach social media accounts and limit printing of glossy publications to those involving the outlined key Government priorities.
  • No new functions: agencies will not take on any additional roles or functions, unless approved by Government.
  • Ongoing assessment of agency functions: with the support of Treasury, agencies will continually reassess and reconsider activities undertaken.

2. Sustaining effective frontline services

This strategy will see the resources of the public sector marshalled and directed to where the future core business is, or needs to be.

  • Reinforce the frontline: to ensure resources are allocated to meet frontline demand, agencies will limit secondments of frontline workers to corporate, policy or other back-office roles (including reassessing current secondments).
  • Rebalance public service roles: this will see a review of the public sector to look for opportunities for roles to be reallocated to frontline tasks.
  • Reduce the use of consultants, contractors, labour hire and long-term agency temps: Agencies and the Public Service Commission will examine all uses of non-public servants to undertake roles and move to end contracts.
  • Recruitment: strengthened oversight of non-frontline recruitment, including closed merit recruitment across the sector for 12 months.
  • Senior executive service: natural reduction of senior executive service roles.
  • Reset the dial on ICT: initiate a six month freeze on investment in new ICT projects, excepting those related to critical safety or cybersecurity.
  • Accommodation: Government will make more use of existing government buildings to encourage public servants to work closer to home.

Addressing debt

As announced in the Mid Year Fiscal and Economic Review, the Government will create a Queensland Future Fund as part of reducing the State’s debt burden.

The Fund will be seeded with surplus funds from the defined benefit superannuation fund and other asset classes such as Queensland Government’s commercial land, commercial power or water infrastructure will be considered for inclusion.

Last updated: 1 October 2020