Labor’s public sector shake-up if it wins Queensland poll

A Labor win in Queensland could see another shake-up of the public service — but no more job losses. The opposition will reduce ministries and realign the bureaucracy.

Labor will slice the number of ministries and potentially merge some government departments if it wins office in Queensland. But Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk vows departmental heads will be picked on merit alone.

In the second week of campaigning ahead of the January 31 poll, Palaszczuk has also announced ministers’ salaries will be pegged to public servant pay rises.

Premier Campbell Newman was criticised for a number of his appointments to the public service, most controversially Michael Caltabiano as Transport Department director-general. Caltabiano, a Liberal player, was sacked after less than a year in the job after a Crime and Misconduct investigation into a departmental appointment of the son of a minister.

Newman, the former Brisbane lord mayor, also hand-picked council figures Barry Broe (co-ordinator-general), Helen Gluer (Treasury) and Andrew Chesterman (Environment and Heritage). Chesterman is now the public service commissioner.

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  • roger dennis scott

    David Edwards has every reason to complain about being labelled as “a hand-picked Nationals” man. His father, Sir Llew Edwards, was a Liberal through and through, albeit a coalitionist in regimes dominated by Sir Joh Bjelke Petersen. Sir Llew rendered laudable non-partisan contributions in public service after he left the Liberal party leadership, particularly in running Expo88 and then as Chancellor of the University of Queensland.