WA budget cuts a blunt hit to departments under the pump

The Western Australian government has flagged more cuts to government ranks to repair the budget. A former bureaucrat tells The Mandarin it could strip the service of capacity.

Public servants in Western Australia are bracing for more cuts to their ranks, with one former bureaucrat concerned another blunt hit from efficiency dividends will strip the service of capacity and experience.

Premier Colin Barnett said yesterday the state’s worsening financial situation — exacerbated by a fall in iron ore prices — had blown a $1.5 billion hole in the budget and the public service will be impacted:

“In the longer-term future there’ll be some cutbacks on both recurrent and capital spending. We have to look at cutting government spending and, to the extent possible, the burden will be borne by the public sector.”

Barnett wouldn’t be drawn on whether another efficiency dividend would be applied to government departments. The Premier’s office told The Mandarin an announcement would be made “in due course”.

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