Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says it is well past the time the Premier and the Treasurer stopped lying to Queenslanders about their plans for asset sales.
“The Premier and Treasurer are pretending they have not made a decision to sell off state assets, when in fact everything they say and do suggest their plans are set in concrete,” Mr Pitt said.
“Since coming to office the arrogant LNP government has sold nearly $4 billion in public assets without the approval of voters, including the seven office blocks the Treasurer sold for $237 million less than they were worth.
“Sales have included $58 million in school property, $562 million for the seven office buildings, and $2.7 billion in Aurizon shares, and the $500 million sale of its stake in the Electranet business.
“They have also hired investment banks to start work on selling at least $6 billion more including assets belonging to Sunwater, Powerlink and the state’s toll roads.
“Now this arrogant LNP Government is starting scoping studies for selling more power industry assets.
“Despite their claim that asset sales are needed to pay down debt, under the Newman Government debt has risen by $7 billion to reach $69 billion in July this year.
“The $4 billion interest bill belongs solely to the Newman Government.
“Interest costs never reached that level under the former Labor Government and have only hit the $4 billion mark because the Newman Government has itself increased debt.
“They are lying to Queenslanders and taking us all for mugs.”
Mr Pitt said the announcement the QIC would remain state-owned was a “red herring”.
“Not selling the QIC is a no-brainer. The Newman Government just wants to be applauded for not doing something stupid,” he said.
Mr Pitt said the Premier’s promise not to sell the “poles and wires” could not be believed.
“The Newman Government is already selling Ergon’s forests that provide the actual poles and has today announced the sale of future income streams,” he said.
“The bottom line is this suggested model will result in asset sales. Private investors pay more than governments do to borrow funds and will be demanding to make a profit as well as the security of a degree of ownership,” he said.