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Burgeoning public service costs taxpayers

Liberal Member for Western Victoria, Simon Ramsay has voted against Labor legislation to create more layers of public service administration and public servants.

Even before this legislation, Mr Ramsay said last week’s Victorian budget showed that the public service has bloated enormously under the Andrews Government.

Under Labor, the Public Sector wage bill has increased by nearly 40 per cent, jumping by more than $7 billion since 2015.  Public servants’ wages will cost taxpayers nearly $26 billion in 2018-19.

“Victorian Public Service executive numbers have jumped by 23.4 per cent over the past year alone.  These 162 additional bureaucrats each earn an annual remuneration package of $213,705,” he said.

Labor’s legislation looks to make Service Victoria a new whole-of-government service delivery agency for the state and provide regulations around identity verification.

“All of this is unnecessary and could be achieved in simpler ways without creating more administration and administrators.  Even Labor knows it is flawed.

“This is not about public service delivery, this is about increasing the public service, and by extension, union membership which ultimately feeds funds back into the Labor Party.

“Service Victoria is already floundering due to lack of leadership and direction – and I don’t know of anyone who thinks dealing with Victorian Government agencies is any easier in recent years.

Mr Ramsay said the creation of a GovHub in Ballarat does away with the Coalition plan to relocate VicRoads to Ballarat.  Instead, the Andrews Government will create another level of administration and bureaucracy within VicRoads, called Regional Roads Victoria, and move only that part to Ballarat.

“This is Labor 101 – creating layers of bureaucracy when none is needed – and it all has to be paid for.

“Let’s just create a little bit more bureaucracy, a little bit more administration and a little bit more cost to the taxpayer by creating another authority to do what? No-one knows.

“It is only about playing politics and brinkmanship to appease the Member for Western Victoria James Purcell whose vote the Government will be looking for if the Fire Services Bill returns to the Parliament.

Mr Ramsay said the Services Victoria Bill will provide suboptimal service delivery and diminish the responsibility of individual agencies into a blurred hot-pot of finger pointers and blame-shifting.

“There is little transparency around this Bill.  It is a complex and expensive way to provide digital service delivery.  It is largely window-dressing.”