Queensland’s deputy premier says it was inappropriate for LNP MP Sean Choat to publicly criticise proposed asset sales.
A Liberal National Party backbencher has been scolded by the deputy premier for breaking ranks to publicly criticise the Newman government’s proposed asset sales.
First time MP Sean Choat says he’s prepared to cross the floor if the LNP pushes ahead with the sales after the next election.
“I am opposed to the sale of electricity, water and transport-related utilities,” the Ipswich West MP wrote on his website.
“I want to be very clear about that – it is no secret and I’d use my vote in the parliament to that end.
“I do understand there are financial pressures on our state as a result of poor decisions of the previous government and we need to sort that out (but) we just need to consider a full range of options.”
Mr Choat spoke out after visiting workers and representatives from the Electrical Trades Union at the Swanbank power station, which is being shut down for three years.
While Mr Seeney hasn’t personally called Mr Choat about the outburst, he says the newcomer acted inappropriately.
“We all know that disunity is death in politics,” he said.
“Everyone that’s been involved in politics knows that they have the opportunity to express views in the party room and it is inappropriate to express those views otherwise.
“I urge Mr Choat, and all Queenslanders to think through the proposition that we will take to the people at the next election to make a mature, grown up, informed decision.
“I personally want to build the infrastructure that Queenslanders need, the roads, hospitals and schools, but to do that we need to look at whether or not it is appropriate to recycle some of the capital that the people of Queensland have already invested in infrastructure.”
ETU state secretary Peter Simpson says the union is aware of other government MPs who “see the writing on the wall”.
“We call on government MPs out there, particularly old-style National MPs who represent areas that traditionally don’t support privatisation of public assets to listen to their constituents and their principles,” he said.
Scoping studies into the sale of power generators CS Energy and Stanwell and the lease of Townsville and Gladstone ports are due soon.
The government says it would not proceed with any sale without a mandate.
Opposition leader Annastascia Palaszczuk says if the Newman government is returned to office it plans to sell anything it can lay its hands on.