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Residents have mixed feelings about lease of port

THE jury is still out locally as to whether Gladstone would be better off with the port leased or not, with residents having a mixed range of opinions.

The Queensland Government announced last week that the Port of Gladstone would be leased for up to 99 years under the government's debt reduction plan.

The plan, which the LNP will take to an election next year, involves leasing the port, as well as electricity generation companies and transmission companies, to private operators.

Premier Campbell Newman said the government would get $37 billion for the plan.

Gladstone residents have a diverse range of opinions of the issue.

The Gladstone electorate is currently held by independent MP Liz Cunningham, who is opposed to the proposal.

Leanne Edwards said the port shouldn't be leased.

"It's ours, it's Queensland's. It's Gladstone's and it's got local employees," she said.

Jeremy Scrivener agreed, saying the government shouldn't be relying on assets already here as a safety net.

"We already pay enough taxes," he said.

Grace Jones was concerned about what would happened to the money Gladstone Ports Corporation put into the local community.

"The port donates a lot to community groups. It's concerning that the money wouldn't stay in town," she said.

David Webber said that as long as the maintenance and contracting work and the money stayed, he would be happy to see the port leased.

Frank Langley supported the move, saying it wasn't being sold, so it could always come back if there was a problem.

Maddie Taylor was happy for assets to be leased so the state could pay off debt.

Grab a copy of Wednesday's Observer to see the opinions of 40 local people on this issue

Topics:  asset leasing, gladstone ports corporation, lnp, queensland government



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