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Queensland Government denies plans to sell off state-owned land amounts to asset sales

The ABC’s Chris O’Brien reports (6.10.16) on the Palaszczuk Government’s intention to sell or develop state-owned land as part of an urban renewal agenda. The Opposition and other critics have decried the move as a broken election commitment not to sell public assets, while industry and developer groups have urged political leaders to move on from the asset sale ‘slanging match’ for the benefit of Queensland’s ailing economy.

‘The Palaszczuk Government’s plan to sell or develop land around the state for urban renewal has reignited a debate over the definition of asset sales.

Despite vowing not to privatise state-owned assets, the Government’s “Advancing our cities and regions strategy” includes the disposal of vacant or under-utilised land to developers or local councils.

‘The proposed sites include the Townsville waterfront, parts of the Mackay and Rockhampton CBDs, and Brisbane’s Cross River Rail corridor.

‘The Queensland Council of Unions (QCU) is not opposed to the plan, which the Premier said was common.

‘”Governments of both persuasions, their normal course of business transactions have involved the buying and selling of land,” Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

‘ … Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said it was about developing land assets.

‘She acknowledged land could be sold, “but to categorise it as an asset sale, I think as a wholesale asset sale, is a misrepresentation,” she said.

‘The QCU general secretary Ros McLennan said the union was not opposed to the plan because they were not income-producing assets.’

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