Claims Queensland Government has mislead the public
THE Queensland Opposition claims the government has deliberately misled the public in relation to a question surrounding the state's electricity network in its interactive Strong Choices campaign.
Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt said on Tuesday the interactive survey should be scrapped immediately because it has a $28 billion black hole that is intentionally deceiving Queenslanders.
"The website tells Queenslanders they can pay off $28 billion worth of debt through the private sector financing of electricity assets," he said.
"That $28 billion is future investment that does not yet exist.
"Those funds are proposed to be invested in the network in the future and as such will never be available to repay debt.
"The Treasurer's dodgy website says if you undertake private sector financing of electricity assets you can reduce Queensland's $80 billion debt position to just over $51.6 billion."
Treasurer Tim Nicholls hit back saying Mr Pitt had got his figures wrong and former auditor-general Glen Poole had verified the government's figures.
"Those numbers are off the current debt," he said.
"What it shows is that Curtis Pitt is Australia's worst shadow treasurer.
"What he does not understand is by going through the non share equity interest we are removing the debt of those corporations from the government balance sheet and we are injecting private sector funding into the government balance sheet therefore effecting a reduction in the total debt the state holds."
Mr Nicholls said the response to the website confirmed that Queenslanders were engaged in the discussion on tackling the $80 billion accumulated debt problem and the $4 billion in interest paid each year.
"We have had more than 76,000 unique visits to the website and more than 16,000 completed submissions," he said.
"It is great to see so many Queenslanders having their say on how to deal with the debt and deficit.
"The site has had more than 337,000 page views, so Queenslanders are delving down into the information there to find out more about the Strong Choices they face."