Comments coming from LNP Minister David Crisafulli regarding the allocation of the proceeds from the proposed lease of Townsville Port brings into focus concerns we have expressed previously about the inequity of the Newman Government’s stance on asset lease/sale proceeds.
The LNP position, as stated to us personally at a Community Cabinet earlier this year and confirmed by Crisafulli’s comments now, is that those areas in which potentially leased (or “sold” as it was a few months ago) reside will be the recipients of funds thus raised. Crisafulli is promising to secure some $290m for the 3 Townsville electorates from the port lease.
Whilst that may sound fair, and will obviously suit those voters living in these electorates, it should be remembered that these assets do not belong to a particular electorate; they are State assets and as such owned by all Queenslanders. By recycling raised funds into the electorates which are fortunate enough to have these assets in the first place we are simply making the rich richer and the poor poorer. Areas which have never had the benefit of these type of economy-enhancing assets will miss out when the money is divided up.
Gaving King has been challenged by Advance Cairns to make a similar pledge to that given by Crisafulli. His response, reported in the Cairns Post, makes our point for us rather neatly; “But Mr King said the Far North had no asset leases and they could not give a similar promise.”