Public Service of Excellence

A Tim Nicholls-led Liberal National Government will build a more engaged and experienced public service that delivers better outcomes for Queenslanders.
The Problem

While Queensland has a high-performing and confident public service, there are ways in which engagement and service delivery can be improved. An engaged workforce is a highly productive workforce that obtains the best results.

As highlighted in the Public Service Commission’s 2015 State of the Sector workforce report, employee perceptions of organisational leadership are the strongest predictor of agency engagement. Unfortunately, less than half of employees believe their organisation is well managed, shown in the Working for Queensland survey.

The best way to better engage employees is to better equip our leaders and to provide employees with the skills and opportunities they need to advance their careers.

Workforce statistics also show the need to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce. There is a significant gap between men and women in senior leadership roles and employment of people from other equal opportunity groups is trending downwards.

Managing workload and health issues is another major challenge, with one-third of the workforce citing it as a major problem.

Our Record

The LNP has a proud record of recognising and rewarding people in public service from different backgrounds. We are the party of firsts - the first indigenous person elected to the Australian parliament, the first female cabinet minister in Queensland, the first female Treasurer in Queensland, the first female Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and appointed the first female Under Treasurer.

In government, the LNP engaged 17,000 public servants to determine a set of public service values that truly reflected Queensland as part of the push to create the most responsive and respected public service in Australia.

The LNP is focused on streamlining processes and ensuring public servants spend less time dealing with bureaucratic red tape and can spend more time delivering outcomes for Queenslanders.

Our Real Plan

A Tim Nicholls-led LNP Government will deliver a more flexible and engaging public service to deliver better outcomes for Queenslanders by:


  • Establishing a Leaders of Tomorrow program
  • Having a 10-year target aiming to increase the proportion of women in senior leadership roles to 50 per cent and double the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in senior leadership roles
  • Engaging an advisory committee, including nongovernment representatives, to investigate and look at ways of increasing representation for other equal opportunity groups, including people with a disability and people from non-English speaking backgrounds before publicly committing to further targets, and
  • Signing formal agreements with private sector, nongovernment and other public sector agencies to allow for more secondment and exchange programs.


All appointments and future opportunities offered under the Public Service of Excellence program will be subject to a merit based selection process.

The LNP has already promised no forced redundancies across the Queensland Public Service if we are elected.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of this new approach?
A more engaged, inclusive and diverse workforce leads to better decision making and higher levels of productivity and performance (Queensland Public Sector Inclusion and Diversity Strategy). Our comprehensive plan will:

  • Provide better skills and pathways for all public servants
  • Give current and future public service leaders more training so they can better engage and mentor their teams
  • Bring new ways of thinking into the public service, through secondment programs that include bringing external professionals into the public service to provide for a better exchange of ideas
  • Provide for more innovation and decision-making by ensuring better representation of all groups at all levels of the Queensland public service, and
  • Ensure better retention and attraction of high quality candidates to the Queensland Public Service because of improved engagement.

How will the Leaders of Tomorrow program operate?
Every year a select number of high-potential leaders in the Queensland public service will be given the opportunity to build their skill set through the Leaders of Tomorrow program.

The program will offer a number of development options tailored to the individuals in the program. Opportunities include education activities, coaching, mentoring, networking opportunities, secondments and other on-the job exposure.

Entry into the program will be by nomination and the selection process for the program will be run by the Public Service Commission. The Queensland program will learn from the workings of the New South Wales Government’s Leadership Academy (New South Wales Public Service Commission).

Why commit to a gender target in senior leadership?
Statistics from the Public Service Commission show that a similar rate of female and male employees is employed up to the AO5 equivalent level. At the AO6 level there is a much higher proportion of females than males. At the AO7 level and above the gap between male and female participation widens with progressively fewer women at senior levels (State of the Sector Workforce Report 2015). Women occupy less than 36 per cent of senior executive positions in the Queensland public service (December Quarter 2016 Workforce Statistics), despite making up two thirds of the total public service.

A growing body of research shows that organisations with better gender equality perform better, that more women in leadership roles are associated with better performance and that gender equality promotes an environment where innovation can flourish (Balancing the Future, the Australian Public Service Gender Equality Strategy).

Economic modelling undertaken by Deloitte Access Economics shows that gender equality on boards would improve the productivity of the Queensland economy by $87 million (Deloitte Access Economics Queensland Business Outlook December 2016).

If we are to have a better performing and more engaged public service it’s critical we seek to close the gender gap in management positions.

Why are diversity targets important?
As highlighted in the State of the Sector Workforce Report 2015, employment of people with a disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people from a non-English speaking background is trending downwards (State of the Sector Workforce Report 2015).

While the Queensland Government currently has a diversity strategy, we believe a target is necessary to properly set about a culture of change in the Queensland public service.

The Queensland public sector inclusion and diversity strategy highlights the benefits of a diverse workforce. They include better performance, better engagement, a more positive view of the organisation and better staff retention.

How will the staff exchange and secondment program work?
A Tim Nicholls-led LNP Government will write directly to major Australian companies seeking to sign formal agreements providing more exchange opportunities.

We will look to partner with not-for-profit providers to allow for secondments and exchanges in agencies most associated with the corresponding departments’ service delivery areas. We will also look to engage other public sector agencies in different jurisdictions as another avenue for exchange.