public servants

Victoria has the Most Public Servants But Produces Worst Levels of Service

23 January 2024

2.5 MINS

Figures released recently show the number of Victorian government employees has jumped by a whopping 60 per cent over the past 15 years.

By comparison, the New South Wales public service grew by 28 per cent over the same period.

Hmmm… how to explain Victoria’s need for so many more bureaucrats?

It wouldn’t have anything to do with Victoria being under Labor rule for most of that time, would it?

Labor does like to boast about its commitment to providing services. That must be it. The fact that employing lots of people makes their union masters happy is, I’m sure, entirely coincidental.

Quantity Over Quality

Except Productivity Commission figures published in The Australian seem to indicate that the more staff the Victorian Government employs, the worse results long-suffering Victorians — who pay their wages — get compared to other states.

In 2021-22, Victoria police had more operational staff per capita than any other state, and yet the rate of physical assaults per 100,000 people in Victoria was 300 higher than in New South Wales.

The availability of public hospital beds was worse in Victoria than in other states.

And ambulance wait times were a shocker. Only 63 per cent of emergency patients were seen on time, compared to 77 per cent in New South Wales.

So what has Victoria got to show for all these public servants? Apart from world-class, non-stop spin from the over-staffed premier’s office, I mean.


Well, Victoria’s public schools had a significantly lower student-to-teacher ratio than other states! So that’s a win, but it didn’t translate into better NAPLAN results. So even when Victorians win, they still lose.

Victoria — the highest number of public servants producing the worst levels of service.

But are we really surprised? This is exactly how socialist ideology works, is it not?

You create a massive state administration that is ideologically committed to the utopian fantasy that the state will create a much fairer and more efficient society than free enterprise.

The reality, however, is that people use the power of the state to create secure, high-paying, low-accountability jobs with no pressure to be efficient or effective.

What you end up with is a bankrupt state full of very happy, Labor-voting public servants. Or, as some like to call it, Argentina.


When Labor Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas was asked this week to justify the bloated public service, she said this:

“Let’s be clear: We saw an increase in our public service composition during the Covid pandemic.

“We make no apologies for putting on the staff that we needed to keep Victorians safe, to ensure that we were delivering support to business and so on.”

Excuse me?

Didn’t Victoria end up with more COVID-related deaths than any other State? Victoria delivered, arguably, the worst Covid response in the developed world!

What were all those public servants doing during Covid? I mean, obviously, they were taking a wage… unlike small business owners who weren’t allowed to work. And obviously they were doing a lot of internal polling so the government could work out which science was most convenient to follow.

Victoria, with a record $178b debt, now has a state payroll it financially can’t afford to service and politically can’t afford to cut. I guess they can always borrow more money.

Australia should be the richest country in the world. Instead, we have a growing number of politicians and public servants with barely enough private sector workers and businesses to pay for them, not to mention the growing number of welfare recipients they administer.

Luckily, the world is buying our coal. Oh, hang on, Labor wants to stop that too. I wonder if anyone wants to buy a banana.


Originally published at The James Macpherson Report.

Subscribe to his Substack here for daily witty commentary.
Photo by cottonbro studio.


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  1. H Harrison 23 January 2024 at 2:38 pm - Reply

    So good … about a horrible truth!

  2. Countess Antonia Maria Violetta Scrivanich 23 January 2024 at 11:22 pm - Reply

    So typical of socialist States. Remember the inefficiency and collapse of the USSR and the rest of the countries which lived in the Eastern Bloc. If I lived in Victoria, I would flee that violent , crime -ridden “Banana Republic ” because it has no future with the Woke mindset of the idiots who live there and vote. The Opposition is no better. Victoria is a Write Off.

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