The state government went on the defensive today facing a barrage of criticism over plans to re-shape the economy.
Unions and the opposition didn’t hold back, blasting the Newman government for taking a tough and controversial stance to save money.
Laura Churchill reports.
State Treasurer Tim Nicholls was up early on ABC Radio and on the back foot, claiming his government is making the right decision to adopt many of the report’s cost cutting recommendations.
Tim Nicholls, State Treasurer: “What we have here is a plan to deliver services into the future, a balanced plan. We are considering some of the government’s businesses we own for sale and others we’re going to hang onto but we do need to get our productivity up and that’s what a lot of the reccomendations are about.”
Former Liberal Treasurer Peter Costello, spearheaded the audit, he said the government will lose their chance to get on top of their financial woes by not implementing all the reccomendations.
Peter Costello, Former Federal Treasurer: “I welcome the fact that they’ve accepted some of those recommendations but you won’t get the big bang that you would have got if you’d accepted all of them but you’ll make some progress.”
At the same time the report was tabled came news from the government that it plans to sell off another school asset.
Northside locals plan to fight the government’s decision to sell the oval at Earnshaw State College in Banyo.
Northgate councillor Kim Flesser said he was concerned with the government’s tendancy to put money before the needs of the people.
Kim Flesser, Councillor Northgate Ward: “I don’t beleive that the current state government have their right priorities. Government is about providing services and making people’s lives better. Flogging off public services just to make a dollar is not the way to make a good society.”
And unions fear another round of cuts to the public service.
Alex Scott, Secretary, Together Queenland: “And we know that the privatisation of services will remain toxic throughout Queensland.”
This afternoon in parliament the opposition again went on the attack.
Annastacia Palaszczuk, Opposition Leader: “Will the treasurer today categorically rule out in this year’s budget that there will be any rises in taxes and charges.”
The government now has two years to prove it’s made the right choices, for now the dust has far from settled on the implications of the report.
Laura Churchill, QUT News.