Queensland will likely cut no more than 15,000 public sector jobs, according to Queensland Premier Campbell Newman on Tuesday, yet regardless the exact number Treasurer Wayne Swan cautioned that the Coalition plans to do the same should it wins federal government power.
Mr Newman's new figures partly shaved off from his earlier estimates that the state government is saddled with up to 20,000 workers surplus.
Since assuming government power in March this year, the Liberal Newman Government has already eased out more than 4,000 civil servants and in line with Queensland's September budget, the first for Mr Newman, thousands more will lose their jobs.
Mr Newman, however, clarified on Tuesday that he's looking into less figures than what his new government had earlier projected.
"I think it's going to be much lower than 20,000 and probably lower than the 15,000," the premier was reported by the Australian Associated Press (AAP) as saying on Tuesday.
He also reiterated that the painful fiscal policies being rolled out by state authorities were necessary to address Queensland's present economic woes, which he mostly blamed to the previous Labor government of Anna Bligh.
Mr Newman intimated too that he takes comfort on the notion that his Liberal federal counterparts were mostly supportive of the measures that were adopted by his government since winning power earlier this year.
He claims that Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is on his side despite indications that Queenslanders' backings for the conservative government have started eroding only five months after the LNP ousted Ms Bligh.
"I talk regularly to Mr Abbott . . . he understands that we have to make tough decisions. He is very understanding, he and people like Joe Hockey have been incredibly supportive," Mr Newman told The Australian.
His statement was quickly picked up by Treasurer Wayne Swan, who told reporters on Sydney today that "Queenslanders are getting a taste of what an Abbott government would do."
Mr Swan warned that latest developments have clearly suggested that "Mr Abbott is now conspiring with the premier of Queensland to cut jobs and services, particularly in health and education in Queensland."
And it's not far-off that the current events in the Sunshine State will be replicated in the national level in case Mr Abbott becomes prime minister on 2013, the treasurer added.
"I think what this does is blow the whistle on Mr Abbott's secret agenda to cut jobs in health and education," Mr Swan was reported by AAP as saying.
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