Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk. Sharyn O'Neill

Palaszczuk says Labor's set to oppose state asset sales

UPDATE: A 1000-page tome on how to save Queensland's troubled state financials has been described as little more than a novel by Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk.

Her comments came after questioning the Premier in Parliament revealed neither he, Deputy Premier nor the Treasurer had read the sprawling report.

The Commission of Audit - headed by former Federal Treasurer Peter Costello - was set the task of restoring the state's figures.

It was delivered to the government on Thursday.

On Friday, Treasurer Tim Nicholls praised the report as publicly released a 27-page executive summary of the Commission's findings.

"Given the time and effort taken to conduct this extensive and imperative audit, it is only appropriate that the government examine and consider it in detail," Mr Nicholls said.

That examination had barely begun by Tuesday with Premier Campbell Newman admitting he had not seen the report and his Treasurer had not made it past page 200.

At a press conference, Mr Newman said the government was "not going to rush this".

"It's going to take a fair period of time to absorb this," he said.

Despite demands from the Opposition to have it released in full to the public, Mr Newman said it would wait months before revealing the full detail of the report, giving the government time to consider its implications.

One clear implication from the audit its endorsement and encouragement of selling of government-owned assets including electricity providers Ergon and Energex along with ports in Gladstone and Townsville.

Although the Opposition itself was involved in massive asset sales, including the sale of QR National, Ms Palaszczuk said the party was now firmly against any sale of government-owned businesses.

"This secret Costello reports talks not just selling off assets but outsourcing and selling off services," Ms Palaszczuk said.

In reference to its disastrous poll result, she said, "There are seven of us in the chamber. We heard the message loud and clear".

"We will oppose asset sales."


Campbell Newman yet to lay his hands on audit

IT IS the document to shape the future of Queensland and be centre stage at the next election, but it appears nobody has finished reading it.

Premier Campbell Newman conceded to Queensland Parliament on Tuesday morning even Treasurer Tim Nicholls was yet to make it past page 200 of the 1000-page Commission of Audit report, despite having it since Thursday last week.

Mr Newman said he was yet to lay his hands on the hefty report.

The Commission, headed by former Federal Treasurer Peter Costello, advocates the sale of electricity assets and the partial outsourcing of health care.

Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk demanded the full report be released, after the government opted to unveil just the 27-page executive summary on Friday.

The Premier said the report would not be released despite the Opposition's demands..

The government expects to release the full report in about two months, after it is given consideration by the LNP cabinet.

The full suite of government backbenchers were not expected to view the report until after their ministerial colleagues.

The Premier defended the findings of the report, again claiming no decision had been made about the future of these government-owned businesses.

"We will not sell government businesses without a mandate from the people," Mr Newman said.

"I trust my cabinet colleagues will enjoy the 1000-page report as much as I have."

Ms Palaszczuk has made repeated attempts in Parliament to suggest the report - commissioned at a purported cost of $2.million to taxpayers - must be released immediately if the community is to have an open debate on the subject.

The government has so far rebuffed the challenges, preferring to respond with allegations of financial mismanagement by the former Labor government.