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Issue #1638      May 14, 2014

Jobs are part of privatisation – Newman

Queensland’s Services Union has called on the Premier Campbell Newman to justify selling off state assets after his comments last week that job losses are to be expected as a result of privatisation.

The comments came in response to rail operator Aurizon’s announcement that up to 480 jobs would be slashed in Townsville and Redbank in the coming months. The Services Union Secretary, Neil Henderson, said workers across Queensland are concerned about what privatisation will mean for their job security.

“We’ve been out speaking to workers at the Gladstone Ports Corporation and the Energy Sector this week and one thing is clear – Queenslanders don’t support privatisation – and yesterday’s announcement from Aurizon is exactly why,” Mr Henderson said.

The Newman government is considering privatising the Gladstone Ports Corporation as well as the state’s energy generation companies – Stanwell and CS Energy. Public opinion surveys and community forums about fixing the state’s debt overwhelmingly show Queenslanders do not support privatising or outsourcing assets and services.

Yet Treasurer Tim Nicholls says, “... the government will have to make its decision on the best economic advice”, indicating the government will privatise state assets regardless of public opinion.

“If Tim Nicholls and Campbell Newman aren’t going to listen to Queenslanders on the privatisation issue, then why are they spending $6 million of taxpayer money to find out what taxpayers want. It’s hardly what you would call a ‘people’s budget’? Clearly, the government has made its decision and has no intention of doing anything different.

“We know this issue is important to families and communities across Queensland and we will keep fighting for a secure future for our state,” Mr Henderson said.

Next article – Eddie Murray to be remembered nationally

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