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    Treasurer, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Minister for Sport
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Queensland’s assets are not for sale under Labor

    Treasurer, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Minister for Sport
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Tuesday, September 20, 2016

    Queensland’s assets are not for sale under Labor

    Treasurer Curtis Pitt says the Palaszczuk Government is keeping its commitment to Queenslanders not to sell income-generating state assets and the LNP Opposition must make its position clear today. 

    “Unlike the LNP under Tim Nicholls we have a clear, well-known policy that makes good economic sense for taxpayers who continue to benefit from ongoing revenue streams and the essential services our key state assets deliver,” Mr Pitt said. 

    “Both Jeff Kennett and Campbell Newman assume Tim Nicholls now opposes asset sales – but if does he’s yet to say so. 

    “Tim Nicholls promised almost four months ago to make his position clear ‘in due course’ but has stayed silent and clearly has a problem being honest with the people of Queensland. 

    “He’s deceiving Queenslanders and according to Campbell Newman, he’s deceiving himself. 

    “We need to hear the words from Tim Nicholls’s lips: ‘No asset sales under the LNP’. Anything else is weasel words that leave the door open to asset sales.” 

    Mr Pitt said there was a reason investors were keen to buy Queensland's assets when Tim Nicholls wanted to sell the farm. 

    “It's because they generate great returns and that's yet another reason why Queensland's income-generating assets are not for sale,” he said.

    “Jeff Kennett and Campbell Newman — who both left behind policy failures Labor had to fix — are focusing on the one-off sugar hit from a sale like the Port of Melbourne, but that’s short-term thinking. 

    “The consortium that has bought the Port of Melbourne did so because of the revenue the port will return. 

    “By not selling assets like our ports, our water and our electricity, Queensland taxpayers will keep the revenue streams for the long term — around $2 billion each year. 

    “Investors around the globe always look to invest in asset classes that offer solid, long-term returns — the reason they want to buy assets like the Port of Melbourne is the same reason we want to keep ours. 

    “If your neighbour decides to sell their house to you, that’s a unique opportunity to grow and expand for you. But it begs the question: Where will the neighbours go to live once they’ve sold everything they own?” 

    Mr Pitt said if other states chose to sell their assets and opened up an investment opportunity for the Queensland Investment Corporation then QIC, as a government-owned corporation, could make its own investment decisions. 

    “We told Queenslanders at the last election that there was another way to grow our economy, fund infrastructure to create jobs, while paying down debt — an alternative that didn't rely on asset sales. 

    “Under the Palaszczuk Government, Queensland is now the fastest growing economy in Australia with the highest business confidence in the nation, a $40 billion government infrastructure program, more than 41,500 net new jobs created since the election — or almost twice the jobs in half the time the LNP had in office — and debt more than $10.4 billion lower than the LNP forecast. 

    “If people had forgotten or were unaware, they need look no further than Campbell Newman’s comments again today that show Tim Nicholls was – and remains – the biggest cheerleader for asset sales. 

    “The irony is that Campbell Newman is applauding QIC for making this investment decision — because government-owned assets provide good, steady returns and are usually monopolies — while criticising our government for wanting to keep them for the very same reasons. 

    “The real question is: Does Tim Nicholls share his former leader Campbell Newman’s view backing a fire-sale of income generating assets owned by the people of Queensland? 

    “Even the ACCC chair Rod Sims has publicly aired his own change in thinking on the benefits of privatization, but Tim Nicholls stays silent. 

    “So far more than 18 months after the state election Tim Nicholls and the LNP have no economic plan — only a campaign of negativity and their secret agenda for asset sales. 

    “Tim Nicholls is addicted to negativity just like he's addicted to privatisation – not because it makes sense but because he always takes the lazy option,” Mr Pitt said. 

     

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