Contributed

Chance to invest in infrastructure for Ripley Valley

THE enormous Ripley Valley development south of Ipswich could have its electrical "poles and wires" delivered by the private sector, as the government walks its talk on cutting costs.

The master planned community from Japanese builders Sekisui House will eventually include 4000 homes with a population expected to eclipse 10,000.

Speaking at the Queensland Media Club in Brisbane on Tuesday afternoon, Premier Newman was quizzed about when he would look into selling off power assets.

Mr Newman said he was not looking to sell off chunks of power assets, but was instead focussed on working with corporations to save government money.

He said Energex would offer private companies a chance to invest in electricity infrastructure for Ripley Valley, under the watchful eye of Treasury.

The group would form of a joint venture or private-public-partnership.

"The private sector - super funds and the like - could invest in some very clear guidelines and actually receive a return on the money they put into that infrastructure," Premier Newman said.

"We are working on that right now."Treasury, Department of Premier and Cabinet were both tackling the issue, he said, and Powerlink, Ergon and Energex would be expected to prepare their own plans.

When asked if he knew of firms keen to invest, Mr Newman conceded he was not aware of any interest so far.

"I'm pretty confident there is (interest)," he said.

"People can get a long-term, stable return, which is most attractive to super funds."It's a win-win for Queensland.

"We see the capital expenditure we would have to have funded as a government paid for by someone else."

The first residents of Ripley Valley are due to move in before the end of 2014 as part of the project's first stage.



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