Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney should declare if the Newman Government has changed its mind on selling power industry assets Energex, Ergon, and Powerlink.
“Once again when the Premier is out of town and Jeff Seeney is Acting Premier he puts his foot in it,” Mr Pitt said.
“Mr Seeney’s comments show that after 18 months in office either the Newman Government still can’t get its story straight on asset sales or the Premier’s guarantees are worthless.”
Mr Pitt said at a Gold Coast event on Tuesday Mr Seeney spoke on the LNP’s assets sales and privatisation program and said: “Right across government there is nothing we are excluding, everything is on the table.”
“This directly contradicts the Premier’s commitments not to sell the ‘poles and wires’ of our state’s electricity industry including assets such as Energex, Ergon, and Powerlink,” Mr Pitt said.
He said the Premier stated clearly on 30 April: “We are ruling out today the sale of Energex and Ergon and Powerlink.”
“As far back as November 2012 the Premier is on record saying power transmission and distribution assets would not be sold,” Mr Pitt said.
Mr Newman said at the time he believed in competition for power generation and retail assets but not for distribution and transmission assets such as Energex, Ergon, and Powerlink.
Mr Pitt said regional communities are already being hit hard by the sale of assets within Ergon and Powerlink.
“Ergon has already lost 690 jobs under the Newman Government and Powerlink has shed 63 positions,” he said.
“In the south-east corner Energex has lost 460 jobs already.
“All of these organisations will be in line for further job cuts if privatised so it is essential Queenslanders know who is speaking for the Newman Government when it comes to asset sales,” Mr Pitt said.
“It is now clear that the Newman Government will continue to break its commitment to seek the community’s permission before selling State Government assets.
“The LNP has already sold QR National shares, Electranet, seven Government owned office towers in Brisbane CBD at a knock-down price and school property worth $58 million without a mandate.
“Now Mr Seeney has revealed an even longer list of assets that we all currently own that will be sold off to the highest bidder.”