'20,000 too many public servants'
QUEENSLAND is operating with 20,000 public servants too many.
For the first time since the State Government began cutting public sector positions in an attempt to rally savings, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has outlined the numbers at stake.
He told parliament the former Labor government had increased the number of public servants by 40% since June 2000.
"Labor employed 20,000 more public servants than the people of Queensland can currently afford," he said.
"We are going to fight as hard as we can to save these jobs."
Unions are outraged after Mr Newman offered the sector a 2.2% per annum pay rise, which is below the 2.4% capped wage increase Labor offered.
Mr Newman defended the move and warned that people asking for a pay rise made it more difficult to protect public sector jobs.
Community Services, Disability Services and Child Safety Minister Tracy Davis has vowed to protect "front-line services" following reports 200 child safety positions were at risk.
Ms Davis said she was in discussions with her department to maintain temporary contract positions for front-line services.
"There will be some decisions made in these 200 positions where the contracts will not be reviewed," she said.
Speaking to the media after the Premier pinpointed the number of public servants at risk, Queensland Council of Unions president John Battams said regional Queensland would be hardest hit by the cuts.
He estimated "provincial towns" like Mackay, Bundaberg and Toowoomba could loose between 300 and 350 public servants.
"We are getting a little tired of the demonisation of the public service," he said on Tuesday.
It was revealed in the commission of audit released last week that Queensland's debt would hit $100 billion by 2016 if urgent action was not taken.