Queensland’s public sector wage bill has jumped by almost $1 billion, but the Treasurer says there is a good reason.

The total bill for Queensland’s public sector salaries will hit $23.8 billion in 2018-19, around $969 million (4.2 per cent) higher than the previous year.

Employee expenses make up about 40 percent of that total.

Much of the rise is due to an increase in employees and higher wages.

This week’s Budget papers claim the Palaszczuk government has adopted a fiscal principle to maintain a sustainable public service keeping growth in full-time jobs below the rate of public population growth.

“FTEs are estimated to increase by around 3,833 (or 1.71%) in 2018-19, with the majority of the increase being attributable to growth in health and education,” the state says.

“Average FTE growth over the forward estimates period from 2017-18 to 2021-22 is 1.71%. This compares to an estimated Queensland population growth of 1¾% annually.”

The Treasurer said the Government is spending money to prioritise frontline jobs — teacher aides, nurses and police officers.

“Since March 2015, this government has … employed more than 4800 extra nurses, 1600 doctors and 370 ambulance officers,” Ms Trad said.

The Government pledged to hire a further 400 police, 400 nurse navigators, 100 firefighters, 100 midwives and 85 counter-terrorism officers.