The emails continue to flow thick and fast over the Crikey Index of Overgovernment contained in Monday’s sealed section.

“Why don’t we finish the job and abolish state governments and get rid of 900 of our 1,100 elected representatives,” one asks.

Another, however, says “It hurts to be in a position of defending the Tasmanian Public Service but one would expect a higher ratio then in NSW, Victoria etc. Health policy and standards are just as demanding to develop and implement in Tasmania as they are in NSW.” Point noted.

“I would be interested to see how rates of public servants per capita have changed over the last 10 years,” a subscriber asks. “It is also interesting seeing the number of elected officials per state and territories. The ACT 17 territory politicians, 4 federal politicians and zero councillors would I think come out as being the most under governed state/ territory.”

Yet another reader has more detail on this front: “To complete the picture, Local Government must be included in the index. The maze of planning and other regulations administered by Local Government is perhaps the most difficult and constraining area of Public Administration. Some years ago I was building a farm shed and knew that I did not need a permit. I asked the shire whether they could do an inspection on footings. The Shire advised that while I did not need a building permit, I had to submit plans and pay a fee so that they could issue me with a certificate stating I did not need a building permit.

“A quick count at the Department of Infrastructure website shows that there are 609 councillors in my state of Victoria in 79 councils. Victoria has 12 Senators, 37 MHRs, 88 MLAs, 44 MLCs, and 609 Councillors – 790 elected representatives for 4.5million people or one for every 6,300.” Yowsers!

And here’s a nice suggestion: “What about doing a comparison on the number of ministerial advisers and other personal staff per head of population and per minister? If you can find out the numbers! I’m sure NSW would be well ahead on this measure.”

What a good idea! Back of the truck copies of state ministerial directories and anything else on this to [email protected], thank you.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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