Queensland’s seven crossbench MPs have signed an agreement to formally oppose the privatisation of public assets.
The Newman Government is promoting the long-term leases to pay down state debt.
Tobi Loftus reports.
In a move orchestrated by MP Robbie Katter the accord formalised a two and a half year agreement bringing Katter’s Australian Party and independent MPs together under one policy idea.
Robbie Katter, KAP MP: “We understand the people of Queensland are against asset sales and long term leasing, so we’re providing them an opportunity and we’re going to formally commit to this accord today. The crossbenchers will commit to this accord to block asset sales in the new parliament.”
Liz Cunningham, Independent MP: “It’s important for people to know that there are alternatives. The current government is speaking as if that is the only option that is available to them.”
But the government says the crossbenchers don’t have a plan to deal with the state’s debt.
Scott Emerson, Transport Minister: “These independents and minor parties have no plan to deal with the debt left to us by Labor, have no plans to create the infrastructure that Queensland needs.”
Labor and the unions say the alliance reflects the deep community opposition to asset sales.
John Battams, President, Queensland Council of Unions: “Well, we’d like to very much welcome the decision of the Katter Party and the independents on the crossbenchers to oppose the privatisation of Queensland’s assets.”
A close vote at next year’s poll could give the united crossbenchers the balance of power which would be the best way to stop assets being leased.
Of course any plans by the magnificent seven, to block asset sales , would require them to be re-elected at next year’s state election. Which is something that is not guaranteed.
Tobi Loftus, QUT News.