18 Jan 2018

Lazy Labor loads up government rail and ports with debt and cost blow-outs

A recent Queensland Audit Office report into the finances of Queensland’s government-owned rail and port entities has raised concerns about the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s ability to run these businesses.

Shadow Transport Minister Steve Minnikin said the Auditor-General had shone a light on the sad state of the finances of Queensland’s rail and port government-owned companies for 2016-17.

“These companies are supposed to work for Queenslanders and are key to supporting industry in our state – especially when it comes to our export market and our resources and agricultural industries,” Mr Minnikin said.

“Labor’s lazy approach to public debt has seen these rail and port entities loaded up with $744 million of Labor’s debt.

“This means our rail and port companies pay $232 million each year just in interest dues to Labor’s “put it on the credit card attitude.

“We’ve seen a drop in revenue to these companies to the tune of nearly $50 million at the same time expenses have blown out by three per cent ($33 million).

“This mismanagement on Labor’s behalf has seen these companies’ profits – Queenslanders’ profits – fall by 27 per cent from $299 million to $218.65 million.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk and her lazy Labor Government clearly aren’t up to the important job of running Queenslanders’ government-owned companies.”

Queensland’s government-owned rail and port companies include Queensland Rail, Ports North, Port of Townsville, North Queensland Bulk Ports and the Gladstone Ports Corporation.