Labor at odds over privatisation position

21 Apr 2016 12:00 AMJohn-Paul Langbroek

The Palaszczuk Labor Government is being urged to explain its position on the privatisation of state-owned assets, after the Premier contradicted her Treasurer Curtis Pitt in Parliament today.

  • Premier contradicts comments made by Treasurer Curtis Pitt about privatisation

  • Annastacia Palaszczuk is oblivious to what her Treasurer is doing with the state’s finances

  • Premier must level with Queenslanders about whether or not her Treasurer’s secret plan to sell the dividends of government-owned businesses will proceed.

The Palaszczuk Labor Government is being urged to explain its position on the privatisation of state-owned assets, after the Premier contradicted her Treasurer Curtis Pitt in Parliament today.

 

Deputy Opposition Leader and Shadow Treasurer John-Paul Langbroek said Annastacia Palaszczuk told Parliament today her government wouldn’t allow overseas pension funds to invest in government-owned corporations (GOCs), in exchange for a guaranteed income stream.

 

Mr Langbroek said the Premier also claimed she was unaware the Treasurer had written to all of the state-owned businesses to put them on notice about ‘new avenues to secure private funding’.

 

“The Premier is either trying to avoid the issue, or is completely oblivious to what her own Treasurer is doing with the state’s finances,” he said.    

 

“Curtis Pitt yesterday confirmed he had written to the GOCs, in a bid to find ways to fund much-needed infrastructure projects currently held up by the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s dire budget position. But apparently the Premier knows nothing about this.

 

“Queenslanders aren’t stupid. The Premier knows exactly what’s going on, and if she doesn’t then the question remains – who is really in charge?”

 

Mr Langbroek said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk needed to level with Queenslanders about whether or not her Treasurer’s secret plan to sell the dividends of government-owned businesses would proceed.

 

“We know Treasury officials have approached overseas pension funds about investing in government-owned businesses and the Premier would know this too,” he said.

 

“To stand in Parliament today and deny any knowledge of the Treasurer’s actions and claim the government wasn’t taking this course of action is yet another example of the do-nothing, be-nothing, know-nothing Premier we have in Annastacia Palaszczuk.

 

“Fifteen months ago, Annastacia Palaszczuk went to an election promising Queenslanders she would fund infrastructure and pay down debt without privatising assets. Sadly, we now know this was just a cunning bid to get elected.

 

“Queenslanders across the width and breadth of this state have been let down by this Palaszczuk Labor Government.”  

 

Fast Facts

 

  • In June 2014, Curtis Pitt said:

    “Selling the profits of a business, selling the management of a business and selling the debt of a business is divestment—just another word for privatisation.” 

  • The Australian newspaper today (21 April 2014) reported:

    “The Palaszczuk Labor government last night confirmed it was in the market to raise money from state-owned businesses to fund new infrastructure and pay off debt.”

  • In 2009, following an election, the Bligh Labor Government sold $17 billion worth of assets without seeking a mandate from Queensland voters.

  • Labor campaigned heavily against the LNP’s asset leasing initiative in the lead-up to the 2015 election campaign.

  • Annastacia Palaszczuk told Queenslanders her government could fund infrastructure and reduce debt without privatising state-owned assets.

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