Union to fight lease of state's assets

A TOOWOOMBA union boss believes the only way to stop the lease of the state's electricity assets will be through the removal of the current government.

The government on Tuesday confirmed it would offer Ergon Energy, Powerlink and Energex as well as other assets for lease.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the government could raise funds through leasing to reduce the state's debt while ensuring Queenslanders retained ownership.

The government also claimed their plan, formed after the Strong Choices consultation process, would create up to 25,000 jobs.

Queensland Council of Unions Toowoomba president Chris McGaw wanted more detail on the jobs creation claim.

"To say it (asset leasing) will create 25,000 jobs without giving any detail is just a con as far as I'm concerned," Mr McGaw said.

Do you agree with the State Government's plans to lease electricity assets?

This poll ended on 12 October 2014.

Current Results

Yes

4%

No

95%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

He also questioned how privatisation would affect electricity bills.

The Toowoomba North electorate was one of three Queensland seats he said the organisation would focus its Not4Sale campaign on in the lead-up to the next election.

Mr McGaw said the council of unions would support candidates who left assets in public hands.

Member for Toowoomba North Trevor Watts said the council's support of Labor candidate Kerry Shine was support for a party that previously didn't consult the people of Queensland before selling assets.

A spokeswoman for Mr Nicholls yesterday said the 25,000 jobs projection was based on standard cost benefit modelling from Treasury experts.

"These jobs relate to the construction activity funded by the Strong Choices Investment program," she said.

She said any lease option would have stringent legislative, governance and community service obligations imposed.



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