Tim Nicholls spectacularly failed to silence opposition debate about the Newman Government’s asset sale plans in parliament today, Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt said.
Mr Pitt said Campbell Newman’s “good friend”, Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls ,was clearly touchy after a question time focussed on the Treasurer’s magnificent failures in the eyes of the Queensland Police Union.
“I understand Tim Nicholls must be feeling the pressure, but having a bad day is no reason to try and shut down healthy debate on Queensland’s budget,” he said.
“It was cringe worthy to watch the Treasurer raise at least a dozen frivolous points of order, especially since he guillotined debate on the Budget last year.
“By Tim Nicholls own admission, the future of the Queensland’s budget under an LNP Government depends entirely on the mass sale of Queensland assets.
“It’s quite strange that Mr Nicholls is happy to talk about ‘selling the family silverware’ in taxpayer funded ads but wants debate about asset sales stifled and silenced.
“It was Tim Nicholls who said a lease was ‘as good as selling the farm’ and he can’t hide from that no matter how hard he tries.
“And he can’t hide the statements from Jeff Seeney or Campbell Newman who all clearly believe a lease is a sale.
“When you’re trying to ‘con’ Queenslanders, to use Mr Nicholls’ own words about asset leasing, Queenslanders expect the opposition to raise questions about it and hold this arrogant government to account.
“It’s immature at the very least for Tim Nicholls to try and gag the debate because he’s embarrassed by his own words and cranky about a key stakeholder calling him out.”
Mr Pitt said the great irony was that if the Treasurer was successful with his record $37 billion asset sell-off, he would likely oversee the biggest year of unforeseen expenditure in Queensland’s history.
“If the Treasurer had any shred of accountability on financial transparency and accountability, he would immediately release the cost of the 17 asset sales consultant appointments hired without any election mandate,” he said.
“The bill for today is all about unforseen expenditure and the Treasurer is scared to debate how an LNP Government will fund such taxpayer spending in the future.
“Millions of dollars in contracts have been signed in secret for the Newman Government’s record privatisation without any election mandate.
“The Treasurer needs to also tell Queenslanders how much he is spending on his Strong Choices advertising campaign to mislead Queenslanders that a sale via a long-term lease isn’t a sale.
“This is second the time the Treasurer gagged debate after he cut down all debate on his second budget.
“The Treasurer clearly has a glass jaw and is unable to take valid criticisms of his economic and fiscal failings.”