Qld public service redundancies likely contributed to spike in migration to NSW & Victoria

Following the ABC radio and online news coverage I received yesterday on the interstate migration issue, a friend of mine pointed out that redundancies in recent years, notably in the Queensland public service (which I thought were necessary for efficiency reasons, by the way), would have been a significant contributor to out-migration to southern states. Indeed, departures to NSW and Victoria experienced a spike in 2013, in the middle of the previous Queensland Government’s term of office (see charts below). It was the spike in departures to Victoria in 2013 that led Queensland to record a net loss of people to Victoria for the first time.

IM_NSW_Dec14

IM_Vic_Dec14

A big hat tip to my friend, affectionately known as Toad, for suggesting the importance of public service redundancies to the interstate migration patterns.

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7 Responses to Qld public service redundancies likely contributed to spike in migration to NSW & Victoria

  1. Paul McGuire says:

    In my area the biggest issue with the redundancies was the loss of talent rather than the reduction in numbers. Because the public service offers redundancies across the board, it is generally the most mobile employees with skills in demand who take redundancies. It is particularly problematic in middle management level positions, and I think we will notice the effects for some time to come in terms of the next generation of senior executives. Anecdotally, at least three very capable staff who worked for me went to Victoria.

  2. KT says:

    Unfortunately Paul – that seems always the case. Good people who can back themselves are the ones who move and the weaker ones often stay. Yes there was a loss of talent but may be the size of government was too big. is there any evidence that the new government is re- employing people?

    • Gene Tunny says:

      I haven’t seen much evidence of it yet, KT, but no doubt it will occur given election commitments around restoring public services, etc.

      • Paul McGuire says:

        My impression is that it was already happening under the previous government, although I haven’t seen the data. There was also a tendency to take on consultants and contractors to avoid the FTE ceilings, but at a higher cost than full time employees.

  3. Jim says:

    Voluntary public service redundancies are typically part of an efficiency drive. But they just result in the average efficiency of public service employees falling for the reasons Paul has outlined.

    There is a difference between efficiency and cost. Unfortunately successive governments have been a bit slow to notice the difference.

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