Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls.
Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls. Dave Hunt

Queensland may have to buy back assets if leased

THE LNP still cannot rule out that Queenslanders will have to buy back the state's asset infrastructure at the end of their lease, but says voters just need "certainty" over its "clear plan".

The government has based its entire election push on its asset privatisation and leasing plan, stressing to voters that Queenslanders will retain ownership of the ports and power network it plans to lease as part of its $37 billion Strong Choices plan.

But it has again been unable to rule out Queensland having to buy back the asset infrastructure after the lease period, something which was a key component of the agreement which South Australia made with the Chinese company which leased that state's power assets.

Under the South Australian agreement, the lessee can elect to own any infrastructure it spends more than $2 million replacing. If the state wants it back at the end of the agreement, it would have to pay the private company full value for the assets.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls, who also couldn't answer the question in November, said Queenslanders didn't need to know all the answers yet, only that the government had a "strong plan" for dealing with its current debt.

Read more at Brisbane Times