The Queensland Department of Education has let go of 171 IT contractors, blaming the previous government for forcing the minister's hand.
Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek's office confirmed to ZDNet Australia this week that the department won't be renewing the contracts of 171 IT staff, due to the need for budget cuts.
"Because of the previous Labor state government's financial mismanagement, Queensland is heading towards an $85 billion debt. Ministers have been asked to go through their departments to identify savings across the state, and that will be an ongoing process," the minister told ZDNet Australia in a statement this week.
Queensland's opposition leader, Anastacia Palaszczuk, slammed Premier Campbell Newman's orders to clear the decks.
"It is incredibly hard to provide for your family, and it is incredibly hard to pay the mortgage, if you do not have a job. Telling people on a Friday afternoon that they are dismissed and should not come to work on Monday is a shameful way to treat employees. This week, the same thing will happen to the IT section in the Education Department —  employees are gone, and those people will only find out when they turn up to work," she said in state parliament this week.