Axe Swinging in Queensland

Brisbane Times

The featherbedding in the state sector in Queensland is being axed, hard as the government seeks to control costs. Perhaps some of out more squeamish ministers need to be taken on a fact finding mission to Queensland to learn how to find their testicles. Campbell Newman isn’t mucking around…he means business:

Nearly 2000 jobs will be cut from Queensland’s Transport and Main Roads department and related bodies as part of sweeping Newman government budget cuts, Transport Minister Scott Emerson has revealed.

Mr Emerson also confirmed TransLink would be absorbed into the department, as flagged by last week.

The Transport Minister told Parliament this morning the job cuts would target staff in corporate and support roles in the department, along with jobs in RoadTek and TransLink.

Across all those areas 18 per cent of jobs, or 1970 full-time equivalent positions, will be cut in a move the government says will save $287 million over the next four years. As of March 2012, there were 9269 full-time jobs in Transport and Main Roads.

Mr Emerson said the cuts included a restructure of RoadTek to ‘‘provide more affordable transport projects by reducing the cost of delivering infrastructure back below the national average’’.

RoadTek is a commercial subsidiary of the government responsible for the construction and maintenance of roads and bridges across Queensland. It tenders for projects against private companies, and is essentially contracted by the government.

‘‘That will mean a reduction of 600 full-time equivalent [RoadTek] positions due to work being tendered to private industry in mature markets such as southeast Queensland,” Mr Emerson said.

‘‘These decisions are not easy. But the alternative is the Labor way: a state plunging towards a projected $100 billion debt and a state where costs of living items such as fares and registration continue to skyrocket.’’