Staff ceilings have played a central role in regulating the size
of the Australian Public Service since 1971. They have been in force
throughout 1971-83 apart from two short periods: December 1972-June
1973 and January 1975-June 1975. Prime Minister Gorton imposed
staff ceilings in February 1971 to limit the growth of the Public
Service. The immediate reason was to curtail the public sector spending
to curb inflation. Since then, successive governments, including the
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