Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the LNP’s latest asset sale, this time the sell-off of the Brisbane toll road network, meant that the Newman Government had sold off $11 billion worth of state assets since their election.
“Campbell Newman promised Queenslanders he’d seek a mandate to sell off state assets,” Mr Pitt said.
“The sell-off of Queensland Motorways Limited into the private sector was not put to voters at the last election.
“It’s another broken promise from the Premier, who said he had a plan to pay off debt without having to sell assets.
“Yet once he came to power, he’s sold off $11 billion worth of state assets, including schools, hospitals, Aurizon shares and Government buildings.
“At this very time, the LNP is wasting $6 million on a taxpayer funded advertising campaign to convince Queenslanders to support asset sales. It talks about choices – raising taxes, cutting services or selling assets.
“The sale of QML proves this Government is selling assets already, just as families are already paying $1,000 extra tax per family, and services across the state have been axed.
“You simply can’t believe Campbell Newman when he says that tolls will not be impacted in the future after his litany of failed cost of living promises. In 2004 the Premier claimed these toll roads would be delivered for a $2 toll and wouldn’t cost ratepayers a cent.
“Now after $1 billion of ratepayer’s money has been sunk on the Legacy Way tunnel, $770 million on the Clem 7 tunnel and $370 million on the Go-Between Bridge it will be the private sector who will profit from these failed projects into the future.
“Queenslanders have made their views on asset sales clear. They want a long-term asset retention plan, not a mass fire-sale that lines the pockets of global investment banks.
“The Premier and Treasurers’ fingerprints are all over the bail-out of failed Brisbane City Council toll roads by QIC and the subsequent mass fire-sale of Brisbane’s toll road network.
“The Premier when Mayor of Brisbane City Council said that he was going to talk to QIC about a ‘vision for an integrated motorway network across the greater Brisbane area’.
“The Treasurer’s diary obtained under right to information details that he held a meeting in late 2012 to start the process of QIC purchasing failed Brisbane City Council toll roads ahead of a fire-sale of an integrated toll road network. (See background information below)
“Worse still the Premier’s vision also involved the toll road network having distance-based charging with the Premier describing this as a ‘National Broadband Network for roads’. (See background information below)
“Queenslanders simply can’t believe this Premier when he says he has nothing to do with the largest asset sale in the country.
“The successful buyer Transurban has already rolled out distance based charging on part of its Sydney toll road network and their CEO has called for distance based charging to be rolled out across the country.
“The CEO of QIC has said that this sale of tolling rights to 2051 ‘is expected to be one of the biggest infrastructure transactions in Australia for several years’. (See background information below)
“Queenslanders have no choices when it comes to asset sales and the LNP.
“Only Labor has listened to that message. Under the LNP, Queenslanders assets will be sold. Under Labor, they won’t. It’s that simple,” Mr Pitt said.
Tim Nicholls Diary 20 November 2012:
Campbell Newman 30 November 2010 (Source – http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/flexible-tolling-plan-for-brisbane-20101130-18fhc.html#ixzz2rq5GdR78)
“We are going to talk to [the QIC] about it now, because we still have a vision for an integrated motorway network across the greater Brisbane area,” he said.
“We think it is in the public’s interest. We think it is in the interests of motorists. We think there are many things that can come together to provide synergies and efficiencies that will ultimately provide better solutions on our roads.”
Campbell Newman 7 December 2010 (Source – http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/lord-mayor-spruiks-nbn-for-roads-20101206-18mt1.html#ixzz2rq5smbM0)
Plans for flexible tolling, described as a ‘National Broadband Network for roads’, will step up another gear with high level meetings planned between Lord Mayor Campbell Newman and the Queensland Investment Corporation.
Damien Frawley CEO of QIC (Source – http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2013/11/15/qic-hires-macquarie-ubs-to-sell-queensland-motorways/)
“This is expected to be one of the biggest infrastructure transactions in Australia for several years”