WA workforce ‘renewal’: good for young, bad for capability?

Budget cuts across the WA public service will lead to workforce renewal, the government says. But others worry it will just reduce capacity and capability.

A budget-saving program of “renewal” in Western Australia’s public service will open up opportunities for younger workers, the government says. But others question the capabilities of the workforce left.

The Barnett government will slash public service salary budgeting by up to 40% in many areas. The state’s budget outlook was revised down in December, predicting a deficit of almost $1.3 billion this year thanks to receding revenue as the price of iron ore falls.

The Public Sector Workforce Renewal policy will see savings “harvested” from agencies’ budgets when a public servant leaves their job.

For front-line employees such as teachers, nurses and police, this will mean the money available to pay for a replacement will be 10% less; for all other bureaucrats the cut will be 40%.

FREE membership to The Mandarin

Receive unlimited access, get all the latest public sector news and features, plus The Juice, our daily news update sent direct to your inbox.

The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.