Ipswich West MP Sean Choat
Ipswich West MP Sean Choat Claudia Baxter

Choat 'relieved' with lease option

AFTER repeatedly stating he would vote against asset privatisation in Queensland, Ipswich West MP Sean Choat said he was happy with the government's decision to lease assets.

Electricity generators Stanwell - which runs the Swanbank Power Station - and CS Energy as well as electricity transmitters Energex, Ergon and Powerlink all will be leased under the Queensland Strong Choices plan.

Mr Choat said he was happy with the plan which he, and the entire LNP party, supported.

"I said I would not, under any circumstances support a sale. And I've been clear on that in the public sphere and in the party about that," he said.

"I guess I'm relieved. I made a promise I would never support a sale. The option was me there was crossing the floor and I'm glad I won't have to do that now.

"Leasing was something I was open to. People tell me they're happy with a lease."

Mr Choat understands he might see a voter backlash at next year's election, but said Queensland's debt level meant something had to give.

"Obviously there will be people who say they don't want anything and I understand where they're coming from," he said.

"A lot of people were quite badly burnt by the sale of Queensland Rail.

"But we have to do something."

However, Electrical Trade Union secretary Peter Simpson said he had "lost all respect" for Mr Choat.

"When I first met him I thought he was a man of principal," he said.

"I had some good discussions with him. He showed me the badge he had from when he marched against the sale of QR. I thought he was a man of his word.

"I've lost all respect for him today. He's turned out like all the rest of them."

- APN NEWSDESK



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