Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the LNP’s misinformation campaign on debt has been revealed as a sham by the Treasurer himself.
“If the LNP are going to try and spin their way towards Queensland’s biggest ever asset sell-off, they should at least get their story straight,” Mr Pitt said.
“For years, Mr Nicholls has been saying Queensland has a debt problem. He went to the last election saying he had a plan to fix that problem without resorting to asset sales.
“Once elected, he broke that promise and began his campaign to sell off assets to pay down debt, with the help of his taxpayer-funded $20,000 a month spin doctors he’s brought in from outside Treasury.
“Now, he’s travelling around the state promising new football stadiums to the regions and discussing plans with the Federal Treasurer to fund new infrastructure with his asset sales proceeds.
“Queenslanders will be asking, ‘what happened to paying down debt Mr Nicholls’?
“The Treasurer’s realised that Queenslanders aren’t buying his spin around debt, so now he’s resorting to political bribery by promising everyone a prize.
“Mr Nicholls knows that Queenslanders don’t want asset sales, which is why he went to the last election saying he wouldn’t sell any.
“Along with promising lower electricity prices, lower unemployment and no job cuts, this is clearly another broken promise from Campbell Newman, Tim Nicholls and the LNP.”
Mr Pitt said the Newman government was working with the Abbott government to pull the wool over the eyes of Queenslanders and sell off our assets but Labor’s message to the Federal Treasurer was clear.
“When Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey promised they’d be an ‘infrastructure-focused’ government, they said nothing about holding an ‘asset sales loaded gun’ to the head of Queenslanders.
“The Federal Government must deliver on each and every one of their pre-election infrastructure promises to Queensland, without relying on the sale of Queensland assets. Labor will be holding them to account every step of the way.
“Queenslanders want public assets to stay in public hands. Labor has heard that message and will fight any attempts by the LNP to flog off state assets.
“If Queensland sells off its income earning assets there will be less money in the future to invest in infrastructure and to pay down debt. Once the assets are sold their profits are lost to taxpayers forever.
“Let’s be clear about what this will mean. The federal Treasurer’s proposal would see profits from these businesses go to the private sector and any infrastructure funding to Queensland equalised away through the GST redistribution process.
“If Mr Hockey denies Queensland infrastructure funding it will be made up for with higher GST payments anyway.
“Mr Hockey’s proposal is nothing more than a money go around designed to trick voters into thinking that privatisation can stack up.
“This means no gains for Queensland whatsoever. We would lose our assets, we would lose our profits and we would lose GST payments.”