Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says the 55 schools on the Newman Government’s hit-list show nothing is off the table when it comes to the Costello Audit report and its recommendations for asset sales, privatisations and outsourcing.

“There is nothing more sacred to local communities than their local school, and the plans for a wholesale closure of up to 55 of them shows nothing is sacred when it comes to the LNP’s Costello Audit report,” Mr Pitt said.

“Right now and until the Education Minister release the list of 55 possible closures, all small schools across the state and their local communities are facing uncertainty.

“But the LNP does not care about local communities and local school assets. All it sees when it looks at schools is dollar signs.

“The government is now turning itself inside out trying to come up with definitions of ‘asset sale’ that let it off the hook.

“They can call it ‘asset management’ as they have tried to do to camouflage their asset sale of seven Brisbane CBD office blocks.

“But school communities will view the sale of their schools as asset sales, and they will be correct.”

Mr Pitt said the highly political statements today by Liberal Party life member and Audit Commission chair, Peter Costello, yet again proved his audit was anything but independent.

“Mr Costello talks about a menu of unpalatable options, but he and the LNP are the ones who have made a meal of the state economy and their handling of it is a dog’s breakfast,” he said.

“Under the LNP state growth is down and our jobless rate is back up to levels not seen since the GFC.

“I believe there will be a turnaround in our economic fortunes, but it will come from the spin-offs of major resources projects, especially export gas projects, that were initiated by the former Labor governments.

“Growth will return and jobs will be created despite the LNP and its slash-and-burn policies, not because of it,” he said.