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CURRENT AFFAIRS

 

Asset Sales & Leasing - We say no to the cost of living rising

Saturday, January 24, 2015

In a recent survey by the Queensland State Government, Queenslanders strongly oppose the sale of public assets. There is no doubt the state is in financial crisis, with State Government debt of approx. $80 Billion which equates to $16,000 per Queenslander - higher than any other state on a per person basis. 

Labor has to take a big chunk of the blame for our debt. In 2006-07 we had debt of $29 Billion, income equalled expenditure, but after that, spending was out of control and continued for the next 5 years. Ratio of debt to revenue was 20% in 2005-06 to more than 100% in 2011-12.


Due to the high debt, the LNP lead by Premier Campbell Newman, wants to sell or lease Queensland’s assets. The Newman LNP Government is looking to off-load its coal-powered electricity generator. The major parts of the transaction are things like Ergon, Energex, Powerlink and the two ports. That’s electricity generators CS Energy and Stanwell, the Sun Water industrial pipelines, and long term leases (99 years) for the Gladstone Port Corporation and the Townsville Port (including the Mount Isa freight rail line) and inviting private sector investment – not ownership – of the electricity network.

For example South Australia privatised their electricity which is now owned by billionaire Li Ka-Shing who makes four time more profit out of SA than its UK group, now SA has the highest electricity costs in the world. 

Newman estimates his sales and leasing will generate $33.6 Billion. Those monies are earmarked with the biggest chunk $25 Billion, for debt payment. $8.6 billion would be set aside for infrastructure and cost of living relief projects, that includes infrastructure for mining companies hoping to set up in the Galilee Basin. 

One Nation understands we can’t maintain our current debt level, interest alone is strangling us. Pauline Hanson and One Nation have always opposed the sale of public assets, as Pauline did with Telstra, which was making a profit of $2 Billion in 1996 and now in 2014, $4.3 Billion. It was estimated that 56,000 jobs would be lost. It does not make sense to sell profit making assets. More importantly One Nation believe essential services such as electricity, water, telecommunications and gas should remain in the hands of governments and not private companies. These are essential services and should not be run for profit. Private companies are only interested in making profits for their Directors who are on outrages salaries, and shareholders. 

Many Queenslanders, are facing economic hardship and cannot afford further cost to their everyday living.  

It makes far more sense to hold on to our assets that generate approx. $1.289 Billion to $2 billion a year for Queenslanders, rather than flog them off for a short-term fix. At the end of the day when all has been sold and government’s mis-management and overspending of revenue, what do we do then, who will own us?

The Newman government has been unable to assure Queenslanders, that at the end of the lease the state would have to buy back the asset. 
LNP Treasurer Tim Nicholls in his own words 2010 said “leasing is as good as selling the farm”.

Queenslanders need to be informed about the finer details of the leasing agreements. If Queensland has to buy back the assets, will they cost us more than the lease. Will the companies impose maintenance costs, infrastructure costs, or end of lease hand back costs?

This government knows they will not be around in 50 or 99 years’ time. We don’t want short term solutions, with short term gains, and we don’t want to leave our future generations with a country they don’t own. 

One Nation is opposed to the sale of Queensland’s public assets but we will investigate the pros and cons of selling or leasing and will inform Queenslanders. Based on LNP and Labors’ past performances neither can be trusted and nor should they.  

SOLUTION:

One Nation proposes cuts to politicians lurks and perks to start to repay the QLD debt which was racked up by the Labor party. After all, these politicians keep saying that the 'age of entitlement is over'. For instance, how can they justify a daily meals allowance of $167 and travel allowance up to $305 per day?

One Nation also proposes a cut back on the number of State politicians. There are too many snouts in the trough, we want representation, not career politicians at the expense of Queensland’s economic stability. Our estimation is that each politician costs the tax payer $1 million per year, this includes their staffing expenses, superannuation and more that they are entitled too.

Queensland must drive investment opportunities for businesses, industry and manufacturing. Get rid of the red tape, over the top fees and charges, give support and cut the time frame from time of application to final decision.

Payroll tax also needs to be abolished to encourage companies to employ more staff. Common sense tells you, you don’t tax someone for the more people they employ.

We can own our assets and not have to lease them if the Federal Government got out of the 1953 Double Taxation agreement and made multinationals pay their taxes here and not sending profits to safe havens offshore. 

There is a solution we only need true leadership that has the will to govern for the people. The people of Australia should not have to fork out the bills and suffer due to government mismanagement. One Nation will hold politicians to account.


 

 

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