Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt said Campbell Newman’s secret CBD asset sale was conducted during the worst market conditions in living memory, according to figures from the Government’s own highly-paid property advisor.
Mr Pitt said the new figures, from Jones Lang LaSalle and reported in the AFR, come on top of the Auditor-General’s reports showing the “good deal” touted by Treasurer Tim Nicholls to justify a new Executive Building would cost taxpayers $2.6 billion.
[singlepic id=561 w=320 h=240 float=left] “Mr Nicholls has ensured taxpayers will be out of pocket by $2.6 billion. He is the one who sold the seven buildings for $237 million less than their value. He is the one whose ‘good deal’ will see taxpayers hand over $1.2 billion for renting back the seven building and a further $1.2 billion for renting the new Executive Building but never owning any of them,” Mr Pitt said.
“Now with rental vacancies reportedly increasing by 50% over the year, it’s clear that you couldn’t have picked a worse time to flog off seven commercial buildings in the CBD.
“By selling them off at the bottom of the market, and without a competitive tender process taxpayers got the worst possible result, as highlighted by the Auditor-General in his scathing report in December.
“This whole process has been a shambles from start to the finish, and the blame should lie directly at the feet of the Premier and the Treasurer.”
Mr Pitt said with so much vacant office space in the CBD, it beggars belief that the Premier would waste billions building himself a brand new office tower.
“There is a glut of office space in the CBD yet Campbell Newman sees fit to waste taxpayers’ money on a brand new executive office tower with riverside views and a secret underground tunnel to Parliament House.
“All the while our unemployment rate has risen to GFC levels and our regions are crying out for infrastructure investment and job creation initiatives.
“It goes to show that the Premier simply puts his own vanity and self-importance first, and the jobs and prosperity of Queenslanders a distant last.”