Storms force Government fire sale
By Darrell Giles and Daryl Passmore
The Sunday Mail (Qld)
May 24, 2009 12:01am
PREMIER Anna Bligh has given the green light to a fire sale of Queensland's assets with the state's finances copping another hammering from the latest storm.
With the repair bill from the fifth natural disaster in the past year expected to wipe hundreds of millions of dollars from the June 16 Budget, Ms Bligh yesterday conceded that "nothing is sacred".
It has forced the Government into unprecedented action as it attempts to recover more than $14 billion in lost revenue due to the global financial crisis.
Assets previously considered off limits such as Queensland's 15 Government Owned Corporations - including Energex, the Port of Brisbane and Queensland Rail - which are worth about $50 billion with an annual return of about $900 million are now fair game, Ms Bligh admitted.
"The state's finances have taken a total hammering . . . without doubt, there is likely to be a very large repair bill," she said.
"But nobody can plan for a year when you have five major disaster events.
"That money has long gone."
Courier Mail, 21 May 2009 The Budget axe is also expected to be wielded against public servants' superannuation contributions.
Meanwhile, emergency service crews were on high alert last night as a tidal surge and strong winds threatened southeast Queensland, forcing evacuations along coastal communities.