News

Higher tax or a sell-off, you decide: Treasurer

Treasurer Tim Nicholls' AAA rating will be achieved through asset sales or higher taxes.
Treasurer Tim Nicholls' AAA rating will be achieved through asset sales or higher taxes. Kari Bourne

THE man holding Queensland's purse strings says the state has two choices - higher taxes or an asset sell-off.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls said selling government-owned businesses was among 155 recommendations the Cabinet would discuss as they poured over the Costello Commission of Audit.

He said the only way to return to a AAA credit rating was to reduce debt.

"The practical way of doing that as suggested by the commission is to sell government-owned businesses," he said.

"That's something the government is considering and discussing.

"Queenslanders need to have a discussion about the choices they want to make - do they want to have increased taxes and charges or sell down government businesses to reduce debt so we can continue to deliver services."

Mr Nicholls said the Government was still anticipating a fiscal surplus by 2014-15 but it would need a 1% surplus a year for the next 50 years to achieve a AAA rating.

The Government is expected to release former Australian Treasurer Peter Costello's Commission of Audit Report next week but the Cabinet met at the Executive Building on Wednesday to discuss which recommendations they will pursue or debate with the public.

Premier Campbell Newman publicly declared on Tuesday that he was "in the main" against asset sales.

He promised he would not sell the Port of Gladstone or any electricity assets without asking Queenslanders for their opinion.

But Mr Newman said Queenslanders could not "just put our heads under the pillow and pretend it's going to go away".

Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey said she had read the whole 1000-page report and it was "fairly bleak reading".

Topics:  campbell newman, credit rating, privatisation, tax, treasurer tim nicholls



Your guide to a great night out in Ipswich

Electronic duo Nocturnal Tapes, Lachie Mulligan on electronics and Harry Suttor on guitar and vocals, at their 2015 Dolphin Awards ceremony in Ballina.

Five-day gig guide to the best entertainment in Ipswich

More greyhound trainers in court on animal cruelty

Wood and brass judges gavel on a law book

Five greyhound trainers in court

Police call on gun owners to lock up, keep quiet

A 2008 model Toyota Prado stolen during a home invasion at Pine Mountain. Guns were also taken.

Crims targeting responsible gun owners

Latest deals and offers

Ipswich people love heritage

'It's a great vote of confidence for a program that was launched in 1992 and has since provided thousands of property owners with heritage conservation'


Your guide to a great night out in Ipswich

Electronic duo Nocturnal Tapes, Lachie Mulligan on electronics and Harry Suttor on guitar and vocals, at their 2015 Dolphin Awards ceremony in Ballina.

Five-day gig guide to the best entertainment in Ipswich

Love is in the air on The Bachelor, but not for Kiki

The Bachelor Australia contestant Kirralee 'Kiki' Morris.

BACHELORETTE bows out gracefully as show enters its final weeks.

A $65,000 bathroom? The Block's incredible budget blow-outs

The Block contestants Julia and Sasha spent a whopping $65,000 on their first renovated room.

TEAMS deliver most expensive en-suites in reno show's history.

Your guide to a great night out in Ipswich

Electronic duo Nocturnal Tapes, Lachie Mulligan on electronics and Harry Suttor on guitar and vocals, at their 2015 Dolphin Awards ceremony in Ballina.

Five-day gig guide to the best entertainment in Ipswich

Cryptic crosswords: Top clues to solving them

Your guide to solving the cryptic crosswords in your local paper

MOVIE REVIEW: Ben-Hur isn't likely to become a new classic

Toby Kebbell plays Messala Severus and Jack Huston plays Judah Ben-Hur in a scene from Ben-Hur.

ANYTHING less than grand in a remake of Ben-Hur won't do.

Coming up on your TVs this September...

Don't miss A Place to Call Home as season four launches this September.

HERE'S a sneak peek at what's coming up on Foxtel.

Bunnings starts demolition of historic foundry buildings

SAWTOOTH GONE: Demolition of Foundry sawtooth shed to make way for new Bunnings building.

Lane and footpath closures will take place

Australia's most expensive balcony and it hasn't been built

Viridian Noosa.

How Noosa millionares' squabble could affect body corporates

Receivers move in on Springfield's 'Tower of Power'

The 10-storey tower at Springfield is up for sale with interest high in the iconic structure.

Interest high in iconic 10-storey office building

Palm Lake Resort set to move in to Coast with 276 villas

Palm Lake Group has been given approval by Sunshine Coast Council to build a 276-villa over 50s resort and 120-bed aged care facility at the intersection of Caloundra Rd and Caloundra Mooloolaba Rd in Little Mountain.

New facility planned for Caloundra Rd

Warning for unit investors with price plummet prediction

The warning signs are flashing for one real estate sector in 2017 despite others performing the best they have in years and it's not going to be pretty.

One real estate sector looks set for a rocky 2017

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale