Is Victoria going bankrupt?

I’d heard vaguely about selling off bits of Vic Roads but not about the rest. From ‘Disaster’: Union boss slams private sector involvement in VicRoads.

“The Andrews Labor government has already sold off the Land Titles and Registry Office and it appears VicRoads’ most sensitive functions are next in line,” Ms Darmanin said.

That is incredible! Labor Governments do not privatise. They do not “work in co-operation with the private sector to provide better services.” But what they often do, when they have run out of other peoples’ money, is look inside every hollow log to find spare cash when every other source of revenue has already been spent and committed.

Comes with this today: Extra $14.5bn spent on Labor states’ bureaucracy splurge.

Victoria and Queensland have supercharged their public sector workforces, hiring more than 100,000 new staff over the past five years at a cost to taxpayers of an extra $14.5bn a year in wages and salaries.

Staff numbers in the two biggest Labor states have swollen about five times faster than in NSW, according to analysis by the NSW Treasury, which found NSW had experienced the slowest growth nationwide in both headcount and dollar cost.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet, whose government has faced criticism over the adequacy of its workforce during the recent bushfires, said his state was focused on frontline staff and not “bloated backroom bureaucracy”.

Incredible difference in attitude between NSW and the Labor states. When and if Labor finally gets tossed out in Victoria, they will leave a disaster behind that no one will be able to fix. Socialists only know how to plunder. They know nothing about what it takes to create wealth and prosperity.

But what bothers me even more is how bizarre economic theory has become that no one working in Treasury can any longer even see what the problem is.

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29 Responses to Is Victoria going bankrupt?

  1. A Lurker

    “Socialists only know how to plunder. They know nothing about what it takes to create wealth and prosperity.”

    Liberty quote.

  2. Entropy

    The people in charge of central agencies are labor party operatives these days. Line agencies are also led by party operatives, but without quite the same level of connections and thus rely on the favour of the central agency mandarins.
    When the libs are in power they accept the recommendations of these very same people for filling vacancies. The ministers seem to like the introductions these people can provide them.

  3. stackja

    Entropy – Australia’s ‘deep state’.

  4. Des Deskperson

    On the other hand, APS employee numbers have fallen by 12.0% from their peak of 167,338 in June 2012 to 147,237 on June 2019

    ‘The people in charge of central agencies are labor party operatives these days’

    In the APS? Names, please.

  5. Dr afred Lenin

    Andrews is following alp tradition like Kirner ,you stuff everything you touch , leave a total mess ,get the people into debt trying to keep your miserable little career in politics and finally get voted out of government . Then in opposition ,you forget the past and bitterly attack the new government for being too slow fixing the shambles you made . You know in a few years the stupd punters will get sick of the austerity as the new government struggles to complete the job of fixing the mess you made. Then you promise free stuff to the punters ,get re elected and commence wrecking the achievments of the previous government in fixing your last mess . Its a cyclic thing ,happens every time .
    Abolish Career Politics ,Save Our Country !

  6. John Constantine

    The Revolution has been locked in unswervingly.

    OBOR debt never has to be repaid, it is just like a pensioner taking out a reverse mortgage on her house. When the inevitable time arrives, the title just transfers to the OBOR reverse mortgage holder.

  7. “[But] we will not dismiss the opportunity to work in co-operation with the private sector to provide better services.”

    Translation: The deal has been done. My new home is under construction.

    “it appears VicRoads’ most sensitive functions are next in line,”

    Translation: “the black market for licenses is at risk”

  8. lotocoti

    QLD Health once proudly declared it was the third largest employer in the country.

  9. Labor in Victoristan has been doing this for quite some time. They made lots of noise about Jeff Kennett’s privatisation activities, but when you look at what Labor has been and is doing, Jeff’s efforts pale by comparison.

    And along with Labor’s privatisation activities, costs don’t do down but increase substantially and service levels drop as well. Just consider such things as building permits (privatised), roads maintenance (privatised), electricity (renewables) etc.

  10. Chris M

    The Andrews Labor government has already sold off the Land Titles and Registry Office

    Interesting… is this connected to stamp duty payments in some way? Who is the purchaser and were they guaranteed specific or minimum annual income ongoing by the Andrews government?

  11. Robbo

    The economic vandalism of the Andrews Government will be a burden on future generations that will stifle growth and make Victoria the poorest State in Australia for many decades. Andrews and his bunch of misfits are disgraceful grubs.

  12. struth

    You can hand your state back to the Commonwealth, or indeed part of it.
    It’s been done before.

  13. Mark M

    This interactive map shows Global coal power.

    Drag the slider to explore coal capacity changes since 2000.

    Watch Victoria.

    Carbon Brief has done an amazing interactive on global coal:

    China has now almost 1,000GW (!) of coal power!

    Pity Australia, poor fella.

  14. Shy Ted

    Everybody knows where the money’s gone. Labour politicians and Labour mates.

  15. Peter Moore

    No chance of
    ‘Libs getting elected in Victoria.They support all the ALP policies.

  16. Roger

    The economic vandalism of the Andrews Government will be a burden on future generations that will stifle growth and make Victoria the poorest State in Australia for many decades.

    But this time Victorians looking for an out won’t have a relatively prosperous and affordable Queensland to move to as in the early ’90s.

    Annastacia and Jackie are seeing to that.

  17. Pyrmonter

    The shame is that ‘Red Ted’ and Napthine had run a fairly tight fiscal ship. The combination of the shenanigans of the self-selected ‘base’ and the narcissism of small differences among some libertarians who, not wihtout reason, thought both of them slightly too centrist to allow in the industrial left, with all the fiscal incontinence that entails.

    Remember that those same actors came close to delivering government to Shorten.

  18. max

    Is Victoria going bankrupt?

    that’s what you get, once you give right to vote to communist, socialist, fascist, eco nuts, statist…

    And it is not only Victoria that is going that way.

  19. Mother Lode

    One of the things you will reliably hear when talk of privatisation occurs is that the assets sold belong to ‘the people’.

    Of course, so does the debt that the privatisation is intended to help pay off.

    Unions and the lower order primates that they keep somehow think that assets belong to them, but the debt belongs to the government, and it is sharp practice to sell the first to pay for the second.

    Everything bought with the debt as it was being built up also belongs to ‘the people’.

  20. BoyfromTottenham

    It sounds like they are facing a re-run of the financial disaster in Victoria back in the late 1980s/early 90s under the Cain and Kirner premierships, when the ALP got the boot big-time and Jeff Kennett did a ‘blood, sweat and tears’ cleanup. Mrs Thatcher was absolutely right – socialists only stop when they run out of OPM.

  21. Shane

    Roger, comment-3216364,
    once you realise Victoria’s (& the rest of Australia’s) inevitable destination & what actions our various governments will have to take to restart the economy & try to force those of us, just like the ant in Aesop’s fable, all pay ”our fair share ”, you can start planning to at least minimise the effects of the inevitable Cyprus-like 2014 bail in on you and those who matter to you.
    No thinking person would be surprised to find out that our ‘patriotic’ politicans already have bail in laws in situ here, enabling such actions on our bank accounts and financial assets.
    To make that net even finer, they are doing their best to get rid of cash here & make it all digital with the law before to our Senate to ban all cash transactions above $10000.
    The only thing still up in the air, is the timing of that collapse whether its to be next year or as far away as in 7 to 13 years time, I literally don’t know …inshallah.

  22. It sounds like they are facing a re-run of the financial disaster in Victoria back in the late 1980s/early 90s under the Cain and Kirner premierships

    I well remember that time. Victoria was the financial laughing stock of Australia and the joke going around was, ‘ What’s the capital of Victoria? About 2 cents’.

    That wasn’t the only damage that Cain/Kirner had inflicted on Victorians. The schools fiasco was epic, where Kirner was trying to dumb down education so that everyone performed to the lowest possible denominator. Perhaps not really that different to what’s going on now with ‘Safe Schools’.

  23. OldOzzie

    Spend today, regret tomorrow in Queensland and Victoria


    “Any government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have.” This warning is often attributed to 1964 US presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, but shorn of exaggeration it encapsulates a truth of public administration: extravagant spending must be paid for at some point. On Wednesday Adam Creighton reports Queensland’s public sector pay bill was $28.5bn last financial year, $6.3bn more than the federal government’s.

    The wages bill for public servants in Queensland grew almost 30 per cent across the five years to last financial year, while Victoria’s blew out more than 35 per cent (according to an analysis by NSW, which has restrained the almost inevitable process of bureaucracy creep). But Victoria’s Treasurer Tim Pallas says his state simply is doing a good job of tailoring service delivery to a growing population. Queensland also pleads a bigger headcount and the cost of service delivery in a big, sprawling state. Even so, Queensland and Victoria have in common a tired political strategy, as did the federal opposition under Bill Shorten: big spending on Labor’s public sector loyalists and big taxing for a business sector seen as producing lots of stuff but not nice votes for the ALP.

    This is shortsighted, even in terms of crude politics. Featherbedding the public sector makes serious reform only more difficult and the inevitable reckoning will be more brutal — and Labor’s clients in the public and private workforce won’t be spared.

    Across time, a lazy tax-and-spend approach can discourage entrepreneurship, wealth creation and investment while bloating state debt, sacrificing a good credit rating, pushing up the cost of borrowing and diverting money from essential services to interest payments. Queensland’s June budget showed total borrowings set to rise every year in the forward estimates to $82.9bn in 2022-23, with the interest bill rising to $3.35bn in 2022-23. That’s two new hospitals. Irresponsibly ramping up the size of the public sector goes with the facile politics of “announceables” and a headline-grabbing fixation with the dollar value of inputs. What really matters is good design of services with regular improvements in delivery guided by systematic measurement of outputs. This means efficient provision of necessary services and value for money. It is likelier to get the balance right between policy, back office and frontline service staff.

    But some kind of built-in discipline on spending is needed to keep managers at all levels conscious of their role as stewards of limited taxpayer funds — for example, the efficiency dividend required of commonwealth agencies or a cap on public sector wages growth as used in NSW. Otherwise the system defaults to wasteful spending, empire building and pandering to rent-seeking constituencies.

    Victoria’s public sector wages have grown almost four times the rate of population increase. Queensland, for all its talk of regional needs, has not created the clear framework needed to encourage resource development in the north. Both Labor administrations have imposed taxes and charges pushing up the cost of energy and making it more expensive to do business.

    In 2016, the Andrews government tripled the brown coal royalty, contributing to the closure of the Hazelwood generator with knock-on effects in electricity prices and supply not yet played out. Alinta has flagged possible early closure of its Loy Yang B coal generator, as we reported on Tuesday. In June, Queensland raised gas royalties by 25 per cent, a reckless decision given shortages and price pressures in the market.

    The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission had warned not long before the Queensland budget that high prices in the east coast gas market were a critical issue for industry and employment. To make things worse, the Palaszczuk government is levying a higher rate of payroll tax on 6000 of the state’s biggest employers.

    These are short-term political gambits, at odds with the duty to serve the enduring interests of prosperous states able to pay their own way and maximise economic conditions that make possible sustainable jobs and high living standards.

  24. Tel

    It could be that the purpose of Victoria is to serve as a warning to other Australians.

  25. sfw

    I said this on another thread, however I’ll say it again, and I believe it’s true.

    There is no conservative/liberal opposition in Vic, The Libs folded after Kennett, there is only Labor and Labor Lite.
    What was once the “Jewel in the Liberal Crown” is just a collection of soft and hard greens sucking on the taxes of those who still produce.

    I spit on Ballieu and Napthine and all those who have claimed to be ‘Leader of the Opposition’ in Vic. Each and every one of them nothing more than a stinking leftist in conservative rags.

  26. Shane

    #3216759, posted on November 20, 2019 at 5:53 pm

    It could be that the purpose of Victoria is to serve as a warning to other Australians. ”

    Unfortunately, it’s getting rather difficult to find a coal mine here in Victoristan [aka the Horn of Oz], much less be a canary in one. But that’s the problem, isn’t it.

  27. Squirrel

    “Is Victoria going bankrupt?”

    In truth, yes – but whether that becomes a formality will depend upon whether the export dollars from our primary industries keep rolling in, and keep getting redistributed to our over-populated cities and their b/s economies which are so heavily concentrated on domestically-focused “services”.

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