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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Treasurer and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Tim Nicholls

    Advisors named for scoping studies

    Treasurer and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Tim Nicholls

    Friday, December 20, 2013

    Advisors named for scoping studies

    The Queensland Government has appointed advisors to undertake scoping studies and market soundings to investigate future options for two government-owned power generators and two ports.

    Treasurer Tim Nicholls announced the studies earlier this month to investigate options for paying off some of Labor’s $80 billion legacy of debt.

    The successful proponents are:

    • Gladstone and Townsville Port studies – J.P. Morgan
    • CS Energy and Stanwell studies – Lazard
    • Ergon, Energex and Powerlink private sector funding – Rothschild and Bank of America Merrill Lynch
    • Energy Markets Advisors (Generator/Retailer business) – Energy Edge and ACIL Allen

    “These advisors will start work immediately and will provide us with information on the commercial and regulatory issues that might arise if the Government made a decision to sell or lease government businesses,” he said.

    “Their findings will form the basis for a considered and mature conversation with Queenslanders about the future of these businesses.

    “This action is in line with the Government’s response to the commission of Audit and the studies are the first step in considering how the Government can reduce the black cloud of debt that hangs over Queensland’s future.”

    Mr Nicholls said the Government wanted to look at options that would free up funds for future infrastructure and better services, as well as pay down debt.

    “Under Labor, Queensland maxed out the credit card and we are not in a position to borrow for future needs without risking a further credit downgrade.

    “The Newman Government has trimmed spending with government expenses growing only 0.2 per cent in 2012-13 compared to Labor’s decade average of 8.9 per cent but that alone will not bring down the debt.

    “With Queenslanders forced to pay almost $4 billion a year in interest it’s time to look at other options for reducing the debt.

    “With that money, in just one year we could fund 1,000 new hospital beds, 20 new primary schools,  almost 200 kilometres of dual carriageway on the Bruce Highway and still have money left over.

    "The Government isn’t rushing into any decisions but rather going through a planned and methodical process to ensure we get the best outcomes for securing Queensland’s financial future.”

    Mr Nicholls said the advisors would complete the studies by the end of February.

    [ENDS] 20 December 2013

    Media Contact:   Maree Lacey 0409 947 957.