Queensland commits to privatising port assets


Queensland Government wants to lease Gladstone and Townsville ports for up to 99 years.

Queensland commits to privatising port assets
Queensland premier Campbell Newman.

 

The ports of Gladstone and Townsville could be privatised for almost 100 years if the Queensland Government goes ahead with its desire to offload state-owned assets.

Premier Campbell Newman has released the Government’s final plan on how to reduce Queensland’s $80 billion debt.

The plan advocates leasing the ports, along with water and electricity assets, for 50 years with an option to extend for another 49 years.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls claims privatising assets is needed to reduce Queensland’s debt.

"Leasing some assets is the strongest and smartest choice because it will generate the funds needed to bring the State’s debt back under control, while ensuring Queenslanders always retain ownership," Nicholls says.  

However, he adds that the Government will only pursue its plan if it wins the 2015 election.

Its intention to privatise the Port of Townsville includes the Mt Isa rail line.  

The Government has also proposed privatising the commercial water pipelines of SunWater, electricity generators Stanwell Corporation and CS Energy and electricity transmission and distribution companies Energex, Ergon and Powerlink.

It claims privatising assets will reap $37 billion in revenue, which will be spent on reducing debt ($25 billion), funding infrastructure projects ($8.6 billion) and relieving cost of living pressure on residents ($3.4 billion).

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