LNP won't rule out QR sale

SELLING off Queensland Rail cannot be ruled out after the next election.

Katter's Australian Party state leader Rob Katter introduced a motion in parliament on Tuesday asking the LNP government to commit to not privatising the state's passenger rail service.

The Opposition supported the motion but the government refused to rule it out in the future

"The people of Queensland will not tolerate the sale of these assets," Mr Katter told parliament.

"Selling state assets is tantamount to turning its back on the people of this great state.

"I ask the government to understand and be aware of the direct and indirect ramifications on industry in Queensland and the resulting loss of jobs that could arise from this.

"I urge the government to send a very clear and concise message to the people of Queensland that there will be no more ill-conceived attempts to privatise state assets such as our Queensland Rail assets."

Mr Katter, on Wednesday, said he was disappointed the debate did not focus on the "rights and wrongs" of selling QR, rather "arguing the politics of it".

"I wanted the opportunity to commit this government to not selling off the rest of Queensland Rail Ltd," he said.

"The government put an amendment forward that they would only do it after they seek a mandate which, to me, is not refusing."

Leader of Opposition Business Curtis Pitt told the legislative chamber the Opposition supported the motion, noting the Labor Party received the message "loud and clear" at the 2012 state election that Queenslanders did not support selling-off state assets.

"We argue that the government should retain its stake in QR National to ensure that taxpayers receive the benefits of future growth in this iconic company," he said.

"Since QR National was floated, the Government's retained stake has increased in value by more than $680 million.

"This is an increase in value of more than $150 for every Queenslander.

"The LNP is doing this to create a political narrative to justify its real plans to sell off state assets, which is another broken promise to Queenslanders.

"The LNP wants to con Queenslanders into agreeing with its ideological views that the government should not own anything, should not invest in infrastructure for our future and should merely operate like a business."

Treasurer Tim Nicholls said his government had fought proposed asset sales from Labor while in opposition but they were left with $65 billion debt and refused to rule it out in the future.

"We went to the people of Queensland at the last election saying, 'No asset sales without a mandate'," he said.

"I say to the member for Mount Isa that that remains our position."


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