State asset leases could generate $37b for Queensland: Premier Newman

The Newman Government will seek a mandate to lease some of the State’s water, energy and port assets at the 2015 State Election, Queensland Premier, the Hon. Campbell Newman told a CEDA audience in Brisbane .

Speaking at CEDA's Queensland State of the State forum, Mr Newman said if his government is re-elected in 2015, some of the State’s assets would be leased to generate approximately $37 billion for the State Government.

As part of the Newman Government’s proposed Strong Choices Investment Program, a number of state-owned corporations would be leased for a period of 50 years, with an option to renew for another 49 years, he said. 

These corporations include electricity generators and network transmitters (such as Ergon, Energex and Power link), the Gladstone and Townsville ports and the industrial pipelines of Sunwater, he said.

Mr Newman said the $37 billion generated from these leases would be used to:

  • Pay down the State’s $80 billion debt to $55 billion, and subsequently increase the chances of returning Queensland’s triple A credit rating;
  • Invest $8.6 billion into infrastructure; and 
  • Create a $3.4 billion “cost of living relief fund” for Queenslanders.

On the State’s economic performance, Mr Newman said Queensland will be Australia’s leading state economy by the end of this financial year.

Mr Newman said Queensland’s economy is forecast to grow by three per cent in the current financial year and six per cent in the following two years.

In the 2015-2016 financial year, we will see the State’s first fiscal surplus in a decade, he said.

“So for the first time in 10 years… Queensland will not be borrowing more money and the debt will peak at $80 billion,” he said. 

View tweets from the event.