Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says the Newman Government‘s sale of QR National shares will erode the state’s future net debt position.
“The Labor Party knows from bitter experience that Queenslanders do not like the sale of public assets,” Mr Pitt said.
“Selling public holdings in QR National is not what Queenslanders will want.
“There are sound reasons for holding on to the public’s stake in the company including the opportunity to use dividends to fund future infrastructure and generate jobs.
“In addition as a state-owned asset, the public’s stake in QR National can help lower Queensland’s net debt position when assets are counted against liabilities.
“That can mean a stronger credit rating and lower borrowing costs if future borrowing is required.
“QR National shares represent an asset, not a liability for Queenslanders.”
Mr Pitt said he suspected the Newman Government had succumbed to pressure from investors to offload further QRN shares.
“Some of those investors are probably the very same ones who were rubbishing the original float in an effort to talk down the initial share price,” he said.
“Or they may be those who failed to secure a stake in the initial offering and now see the long-term value in the shares.
“My concern is that that long-term value is retained in the best interests of Queenslanders.
“I believe that can happen if the government holds on to its QR National stake.”
Mr Pitt said the Newman Government appeared determined to sell off as many public assets as possible.
“The LNP is selling off government buildings in the CBD just to fund the Premier’s pet project — his new Executive Building,” Mr Pitt said.
“Through the next instalment of its Costello Audit the LNP will have its eye on 12 government-owned corporations to sell.
“This is a government driven by ideology. It wants to sell off and outsource and to do so it also needs to sack its own employee and outsource their jobs.
“The same will happened once the LNP puts government-owned corporations on the auction block. Jobs will be going, especially in regional centres where GOCs such as port authorities are major employers,” Mr Pitt said.