Queensland treasurer Tim Nicholls says he’s got very strong support from some people to sell assets.
Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls says he’s had support for asset sales during the initial stages of his listening tour, with some baulking at the thought of increased taxes.
Invitation-only meetings were held with community leaders in Cairns on Tuesday and on the Sunshine and Gold coasts on Wednesday.
Townsville, Gladstone, Toowoomba, Bundaberg, Emerald, Brisbane and Longreach will also be visited.
Those at the meetings will be offered a choice between increased taxes and charges, reduced services or support of the sale of some public assets.
“I think it is fair to say people probably didn’t feel increasing taxes and charges was the way to go and some people very strongly supported the fact that the government shouldn’t be in the businesses that it is in and should be looking at exiting those businesses,” Mr Nicholls said after the Sunshine Coast meeting.
The government will consider selling two electricity generators and leasing the Gladstone and Townsville ports if it secures voter support for the plan at next year’s election.
The Queensland Council of Unions says asset sales is a forgone conclusion and the treasurer should drop the charade of consultation.
President John Battams says times, dates and locations of meetings should be released in advance if the treasurer is fair dinkum about listening to Queenslanders opinions.
“The treasurer should stop creeping around Queensland on his clandestine consultations, and instead sit down with the general public and representatives who look after the interests of more than 370,000 Queensland workers and their families,” Mr Battams said.