Tim Nicholls: No assets will be sold off without mandate
TREASURER Tim Nicholls said it would cost Queenslanders $4 billion to have a discussion about proposed asset sales ahead of the 2015 state election.
That is currently the annual interest bill Queensland is paying on its staggering debt level - the largest of any state in Australia.
When broken down it represents $14,962 for each man, woman and child living in Queensland.
Mr Nicholls said on Wednesday despite the inherited debt reaching crisis point the State Government would not sell-off any assets without seeking a mandate from voters.
"Our task now is to find alternative ways to pay down the debt so we can free up capital for new infrastructure and more of the services Queenslanders want in areas such as health, education and policing," he said.
"The scoping studies and market soundings we are currently undertaking are part of our methodical and disciplined approach to considering these issues.
"We will continue the conversation with Queenslanders about the best way forward so we can fix Labor's debt problem and secure the state's financial future."
Mr Nicholls started ramping up efforts last week to secure public support to sell or lease public assets ahead of the state election.
Scoping studies are underway to examine options surrounding government-owned coal-fired electricity generators CS Energy and Stanwell Corporation.
A further two studies are investigating whether offering long-term leases on the Ports of Gladstone and Townsville are viable options.
The proposed sell-off of the Mount Isa to Townsville freight rail line was also been flagged.
Mr Nicholls said despite the dire level of debt the State Government had no plans to move early on any asset sales saying it would be a $4 billion wait until the next election.
The scoping studies are due to be completed by February next year.