Regional Queensland does not want asset sell-off
REGIONAL Queenslanders have made it clear they do not want asset sales.
They want to see an increase in mining and gas royalties, transfer duties and a freeze on public servants wages in a bid to reduce the state's debt.
The government's interactive budget tool, which runs across APN websites until Monday, reveals those measures should come before the government touches the $32 billion worth of Queensland assets on the table for privatisation.
However, the proposal to use private funding for future expansion of the state's electricity distribution and transmission businesses remains one of the most popular debt reduction strategies.
Our readers want any savings reaped from reduced debt spent on regional road upgrades, regional hospital upgrades and flood-proofing sections of the state's road network.
But will the Queensland Government listen to the results of its Strong Choices campaign?
Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk, talking exclusively to APN Newsdesk about the results, said she knew all-to-well about the perils of asset sales.
She said the road the government was heading down was fraught with danger.
"The government is very much focussed on selling assets," she said.
"Queenslanders do not like having their assets sold.
"I know this more than anyone because I faced the last election where we were reduced to seven seats in the Queensland Parliament."
Ms Palaszczuk said the campaign against selling the state's assets was not just a union campaign, but rather something Queenslanders felt passionately about it.
"I know that, and if they cannot read that, then they are going to face the wrath of the electorate come the next election," she said.
Ms Palaszczuk said she believed the government had already made up its mind irrespective of the survey results.
She said private sector funding into the electricity industry, a popular option for readers, was another word for privatisation.
"They will want a return on the profits," she said.
"My concern is that electricity prices will go through the roof as a result."
Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls said he would release the government's plan to pay down debt in the state budget next month.
"Not everyone will agree with the choices we will make but all Queenslanders will know that we can securely fund Queensland's future," he said.