Joe Hockey calls for Queensland asset sales

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has confirmed his intention to push for Queensland asset sales by attempting to make new federal roads funding in Queensland conditional on the sale of electricity generators and ports.

In exchange for the Federal Government’s funding for major roads, Queensland will be expected to use the money made from the asset sales to reinvest in infrastructure.

Hockey’s Proposal for Queensland Asset Sales

Hockey’s proposal will justify the Queensland government’s plans to sell the state-owned electricity generators Stanwell and CS Energy.

A proposal for the nation-wide sale of state assets is to be discussed in Canberra, with the Federal Government pursuing strict time limits on asset privatisation.

Hockey’s plan dictates that state governments would have up to three years to determine which assets are appropriate for sale and push for planned infrastructure projects to be started ahead of schedule as a result of the profits.

Hockey intends to stimulate economic growth by encouraging states to invest in and prioritise infrastructure projects, funded by “recycled” assets.

“I have no doubt that the states will find it very hard to resist what the Commonwealth is prepared to offer them for the recycling of state government assets and investment in new productive infrastructure that’s going to create jobs and improve the capacity of the economy,” he said.

However, the “recycling” of State Government owned assets may inhibit the state’s capacity to offset debt in the future.

Queensland Treasurer likely to accept deal

Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls has responded favourably to the proposal saying Queensland asset sales could assist the State Government in identifying more cost effective ways to finance infrastructure.

“Anything that can assist us in terms of investing in the future infrastructure that a growing state like Queensland is going to need over the next 10 to 20 years is something that we’re very keen to talk about,” he said.

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