The latest audit of Queensland’s books will be handed to the State Government by Peter Costello today – but Queenslanders will not get to share.
Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the Costello report would in all likelihood recommend the sell-off of Queensland electricity assets and other Government Owned Corporations but the Newman Government is not expected to release the findings.
Mr Pitt said the Treasurer Tim Nicholls needed to come clean about what the government intended to do in relation to asset sales off the back of the Costello report.
“In a week when the LNP has lost three of its Members it has also lost Queensland’s position as the best place to do business and through mass scale job cuts has driven business confidence to the lowest in the nation,” Mr Pitt said.
“When the Opposition was briefed by Mr Costello he was completely open in saying nothing was off the table in relation to asset sales.
“Electricity assets are bound to be the first item on his hit list – and before the election the LNP failed to tell Queenslanders that this was part of their plan.
“The LNP say that they will seek a mandate from Queenslanders first but this says either they’re considering selling them off, or that they don’t have a position and are incompetent. Both are concerning.
“If the LNP are genuine in their so-called opposition to selling Queensland’s power assets, they should simply rule it out.
“The Labor Party has stated it will not privatise public assets including power generators or other assets such as ‘poles and wires’. We heard the anti-privatisation message loud and clear at the last election.”
Mr Pitt said the Costello report came after a horror week for the LNP Government.
“This government can say all it wants in relation to its so-called record over the past eight months but the proof is in the figures.
“The Sensis Business Confidence Index released yesterday showed that Queensland’s business confidence had plummeted to the lowest in the nation.
“The report directly links this loss in confidence to people no longer spending and expect the Christmas period ahead to be tough with a 21 percentage point drop in sales from November to January.
“Obviously if you don’t have a job you can’t go to the shops over Christmas.
“With 26,660 fewer jobs in Queensland since the election thanks to the LNP’s reckless and savage service cuts the blame for this lands at the feet of the Premier. 
“Additionally, the Pitcher Partners State Tax Review released on Wednesday found that Queensland went from first to second in tax competiveness for small business and from first to fifth for medium sized businesses.
“The report directly attributes a drop in tax competiveness to stamp duty increases by the LNP Government.
“The Treasurer will take delivery of the Costello report today – he needs to be honest with Queenslanders and tell them what it recommends, particularly in relation to asset sales.”