Farmers' fury over cash splash for govt fat cats

PUBLIC servants earning as much as $122,000 a year will be gifted a $1250 taxpayer-funded bonus, with the State Government admitting it had done no economic modelling on the cash splash.

As criticism grows over the $250 million gift to public servants, drought-stricken farmers slammed it as "irresponsible" and revealed it could instead fund 2.5 million truckloads of water.

It comes as the latest Working for Queensland Survey of the state's bureaucrats reveals their biggest gripes include incompetent and lazy colleagues whose poor performance is never addressed.

AgForce CEO Michael Guerin last night slammed the move as a "cynical cash splash" to buy votes and keep public sector unions sweet in the lead-up to the federal election.

"$250 million would deliver around 2.5 million semi-trailer loads of water to farms and rural communities, many of whom have nearly, or actually, nothing left to drink," Mr Guerin said.

"This decision is at best thoughtless, at worst, completely irresponsible, and shows just how out of touch the State Government has become with regional Queensland."

The CEO of the state's peak voice for regional Queensland said while AgForce recognised the vital role of public servants, it questioned whether the cash bonus came the right time.

"Is this really the right time to be handing out cash to a largely urban workforce when two thirds of the State suffers through the longest drought on record and tens of thousands of producers have their backs to the wall?" he said.

The Courier-Mail can reveal bureaucrats earning up to and including $122,000 will be eligible for the bonus - far in excess of the average Australian full-time wage of $88,000.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace (AAP Image/Josh Woning)
Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace (AAP Image/Josh Woning)

A spokesman for Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace confirmed no economic modelling had been done for the $250 million in bonus payments for 200,000 workers to be delivered alongside a 2.5 per cent pay increase.

That's despite Treasurer Jackie Trad heralding the bonuses would "drive economic growth".

Instead, the spokesman said the one-off payment was "in line with the recommendations of the Reserve Bank of Australia".

He quoted RBA Governor Philip Lowe, saying: "Caps on wages growth in public sectors right across the country are another factor contributing to the subdued wage outcomes. At the aggregate level, my view is that a further pick-up in wages growth is both affordable and desirable."

The LNP has been critical that the bonus has not been tied to better performance outcomes.

Is it fair for public servants to receive a $1250 taxpayer-funded bonus?

This poll ended on 24 October 2019.

Current Results

No. There are much better uses for that money.


Yes. They deserve it.


I'm not sure.


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The latest public service survey of more than 78,000 workers from across 65 government departments, agencies and health and hospital services found nearly two in five believed poor performance wasn't appropriately addressed in their workplace.

More than one third felt "overloaded with work", with a similar number also feeling "burned out".

Workers who said they were the busiest included child safety workers, police officers, paramedics, and workers at The Public Trustee, Department of Justice and Attorney-General and Public Safety Business Agency, which provides corporate support to the emergency services.

Worryingly, health and hospital workers were among those who most believed poor performance wouldn't be addressed at their workplace.

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