The state government rules out an assets sale without a mandate from the people of Queensland but plans for better services in response to audit report

Premier Campbell Newman

Premier Campbell Newman

Premier of Queensland

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The Queensland government recently outlined how we intend to become the best run state in Australia with the release of our response to the Independent Commission of Audit’s Final Report. The response outlines the government’s reform agenda and provides a blueprint on ways to manage the fiscal and economic challenges facing our state. The Final Report makes recommendations on the sale of government assets but the government’s position remains unchanged: an open and informed debate is required and the government will not sell these businesses without a mandate from the people of Queensland.

The government has ruled out selling off government-owned electricity transmission businesses but will be investigating the possibility of divesting other businesses, including Stanwell, CS Energy, QIC, the Port of Gladstone and the Port of Townsville. Unlike the previous Bligh-Fraser Labor government, which embarked on a fire sale of assets, we will be guided by what is in the best interest of Queenslanders. The report recommends the government continue to provide core services such as policing, public safety, emergency and justice services and that the government work more closely with non-government providers to find the most efficient way to deliver other social services.

The Final Report also makes recommendations on changes to the way the public service is organised so that it can deliver flexible, responsive and efficient service delivery in a modern 21st century economy. The government’s response is a plan for better services for Queenslanders, a better public service and restoring Queensland’s financial health.

The Queensland Plan
On 10 May more than 400 Queenslanders will descend on Mackay to further thrash out a 30-year plan for the state. Members of Parliament will be joined by community and local government representatives to identify the key issues facing Queenslanders. At the end of April some of Queensland’s key business, industry and community groups shared their thoughts on how to develop the Queensland Plan at a briefing workshop in Brisbane, where more than 130 representatives from a broad cross-section of organisations joined the conversation around what Queensland might look like.

The Queensland Plan will be created by Queenslanders, for Queensland. If we work together and seize every opportunity, we will ensure Queensland remains a great state for generations to come.

Anzac prizewinners on memorable journey
Queensland stood still on 25 April for a day of moving and heartfelt Anzac commemorations. It is a day that all Queenslanders can stop and remember the enormous sacrifices made by our Diggers at various conflicts around the world, and especially those who fought and died at Gallipoli back in 1915. In many ways, Gallipoli was the birthplace of our national identity, one that is characterised by mateship, courage against all odds and the indomitable spirit of the underdog.

As the son of a war veteran and a former member of the army I am also incredibly passionate about young Queenslanders being given the once-in-a-lifetime chance to personally trace our military history. It will be a particularly memorable Anzac Day for a group of five young Queenslanders who are the first recipients of the Premier’s Anzac Prize. I farewelled them last month on an overseas journey to Gallipoli and the Western Front and very much look forward to hearing their reflections on the experience when they return.

As seen in bmag issue 257