Tasmanian Government ministerial staffing allocations have been listed with a few surprises

 
STAFFING: The list shows allocations for government ministers and MPs as at March 31, 2018 as outlined by Premier Will Hodgman during a recent Legislative Council budget estimates hearing.
STAFFING: The list shows allocations for government ministers and MPs as at March 31, 2018 as outlined by Premier Will Hodgman during a recent Legislative Council budget estimates hearing.

Lyons Liberal MP Rene Hidding continues to have extra staff despite sitting on the backbench.

Figures given to a recent Legislative Council budget estimates committee hearing by Premier Will Hodgman show that as at March 31, there were 88 full-time equivalent staff employed in Liberal government offices.

Mr Hodgman said this was 10.5 full-time staff fewer than the 98.5 staff employed in March 2017.

Despite not being a minister, Mr Hidding has 2.6 full-time equivalent staff.

All MPs also employ an electorate officer.

Mr Hidding was appointed parliamentary secretary to the Premier after he missed out on becoming Speaker.

However, in the previous Liberal government former parliamentary secretaries Sarah Courtney and Roger Jaensch each had only one extra staff member.

Mr Hidding’s staff allocation contrasts with the leader of government business in the Legislative Council Leonie Hiscutt who has only 0.5 staff.

After Mr Hodgman with 13.9 staff, the Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff has the next biggest office with 8.7 staff.

Treasurer Peter Gutwein, who is also Minister for State Growth and Local Government, has just six full-time equivalent staff.

New Minister for Housing, Human Services and Planning Roger Jaensch has five full-time equivalent staff.

This is fewer staff than Mr Jaensch’s predecessor as Minister for Housing and Human Services Jacquie Petrusma who was relegated to new ministerial portfolios.

Ms Petrusma, who is now Minister for Disability Services and Community Development, Aboriginal Affairs, Women and Sport and Recreation, has 5.6 full time equivalent staff.

The government’s communications office had six staff.

Mr Hodgman told the budget estimates hearing that there were also several public servants on secondment to ministerial offices.

He said as at March 31, 2018 there were 18 state service employees on secondment to ministerial and parliamentary offices.

“This is down also from March 2017 when there were 21,” Mr Hodgman said.

“It does vary from year to year, it’s certainly not unusual, and in our view, and I’m sure it’s a view held by previous governments, it is a good for State servants to get out in the real world and have a chance to see how political offices, ministerial offices operate.

“Under previous governments in March 2014, there were 23 state service employees working in ministerial offices including two in the media office, and secondees as at March 2018 come from a number of different agencies including DPIPWE, Justice, Education, State Growth, Treasury, Health, TasTAFE, DPAC and Police, Fire and Emergency Management.”