Queensland's State Debt / Interest Bill / Asset Sales - Some Background

01/03/2014

Why do we want to have a conversation with Queensland about whether we should sell state-owned assets?

Let me give you some background...

Our state debt is around $76.9 billion. Much like your credit card we pay interest on that debt. We currently pay $450,000 an hour interest - that's $10.8 million per day, $328.5 million a month, $3.9 billion per year.
That's $3.9 billion per year of your taxes paying interest on debt.

Now let's imagine we paid a big chunk off that debt, maybe 10% ($7.69 billion). That would save approximately $394 million per year in interest payments.

What could we do with an extra $394 million per year? We could build a bridge over Youngs Crossing; we could employ more police, teachers, nurses; we could reduce the cost of public transport and overhaul our public transport network...

But as long as we're spending that money on paying interest on the state's credit card, it's not available for the frontline services and projects Queensland really needs.

What's the quickest way to pay a big chunk off your credit card debt? Sell your second car, or your boat, or have a garage sale, or list your golf clubs or jewellery on ebay. What's the quickest way to pay off some of the state's debt? Sell one or more government-owned assets.

However, we understand that the former government 'poisoned' asset sales with their sneaky sales a few years ago and many people don't like the concept. That's why we want to talk to Queenslanders about whether we should sell assets, if so what assets we should/shouldn't sell and what we do with the money if they are sold.

Please don't blindly believe the hype and fear you'll hear about asset sales in the coming months. Please do your research, have an informed opinion and have this conversation with us so that we can plan for Queensland's future.

You can contact me anytime with questions or suggestions at pine.rivers@parliament.qld.gov.au or come to one of my Mobile Offices and have a chat to me.