Bleijie: ALP in assets sell off backflip
DESPITE vocal pre-election opposition to asset sales, the Palaszczuk Government looks set to qualify that commitment by selling what it calls "non-strategic assets".
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad was yesterday quoted as saying the Labor Government had committed to not selling strategic assets, or assets that delivered dividends to the Queensland budget.
Unused land and empty buildings could be among those assets sold off, with Brisbane media outlets quoting Ms Trad as insisting it was not a backflip on the ALP's pre-election campaign promises.
Shadow Police Minister Jarrod Bleijie (pictured) said Coast residents, as well as the rest of the state, should be concerned at what he said was a backflip, less than a month after the new government was sworn in.
"It hasn't taken them long to get to using tricky language to back out of their commitments," the Member for Kawana said.
"That (opposition to asset sales) was such a fundamental part of their campaign.
"When the Premier and the Deputy Premier are mixing their words... I think it's pretty clear they are going to sell assets," Mr Bleijie said.
While the sale of vacant land was different to privatising state-owned entities, carrying potential job losses, Mr Bleijie warned the current rehashing of commitments was a dangerous sign.
"They can't get away with mixing these words, it was clear they were opposed to all asset sales," he said.
"As far as I'm concerned, a government-owned asset is a government-owned asset."
Mr Bleijie called on pivotal Nicklin Independent MP and nominee for Speaker, Peter Wellington, to ensure the Palaszczuk Government did not renege on its pre-election commitments.
Mr Wellington was yesterday unaware of any mooted sale of assets, but said he would clarify with the Government what its plans were concerning state assets.
He said he was open to the sale of some land parcels surplus to state needs, but was unreservedly opposed to the sale of key infrastructure.
"Where I draw the line is selling off important infrastructure like our ports," Mr Wellington said.
"The State Government shouldn't be in the business of being a land bank, but I cannot support the sale of necessary infrastructure," he said.