SMP Images - Scott Powick

Newman ditches corporate boxes

POLITICIANS and bureaucrats will likely be forced to mix it with the people from now on after Premier Campbell Newman dumped the government's long tradition of holding corporate boxes at sporting stadiums.

The Queensland Government has used the elite viewing area at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Metricon Stadium and Skilled Park on the Gold Coast and the Dairy Farmers Stadium in Townsville, plus The Gabba, Queensland Sports and Athletic Centre and the Queensland Tennis Centre.

Mr Newman said these would be either lost completely or would be hired out.

This was part of his greater plan to "cut waste and save Queensland taxpayers money" according to a statement put out Wednesday morning.

The corporate boxes are held by either the state Government or government-owned corporations.

"We will make no apologies for saving money right across the government, because my team's top priority is to ease cost of living pressures for Queensland families and to do this we need to get the state's finances under control and get money back to frontline services," Mr Newman said.

"From what I have already seen, the finances of Queensland are in a bad way and we'll continue to make sensible decisions to get our budget back in the black.

"I know that like the Premier's Literary Awards, many people will be upset by this decision, but my message to Queenslanders is we will do everything we can to spend your money more wisely."

The directive yesterday came on top of the commitment by the LNP Cabinet to a Lower Cost of Living for Families Package.

In that package, the LNP has pledge to cut the cost of water and freezing the price of electricity and family car registration.

The new government will also make less-than-planned increases in public transport fares and abolish the waste levy from July 1.

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