David O’Byrne MP, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure
• What’s up for sale next after Elizabeth Street Pier and Treasury building?
• Government properties should remain in Tasmanian’s hands
• Gutwein’s fire sale proof of his financial mismanagement
Tasmanians should be concerned about the future ownership of important state assets as Treasurer Peter Gutwein ramps up his privatisation agenda with a fire sale of the Elizabeth Street Pier.
Shadow Infrastructure Minister David O’Byrne said with the prime waterfront precinct now up for sale along with the Treasury Building and the sale of 29,000 hectares of hardwood forest plantations, serious questions needed to be answered about what the Liberals were planning to sell next.
“Peter Gutwein has clearly mismanaged the books if he needs to sell off Hobart’s waterfront to fund the removal of the Macquarie Point sewerage works,” Mr O’Byrne said.
“This Treasurer and this government have consistently claimed they do not believe in privatisation, yet in a white knuckle panic they are planning to sell.
“There are serious questions that need to be answered around this sale.
“What will it mean for Tasports finances? Who will be responsible for maintenance on the pier? Will the public continue to have access to this area?
“Major state assets should remain in state hands and if Mr Gutwein or Premier Hodgman had any realistic sway with their colleagues in Canberra, they wouldn’t need to sell off the farm to fund important infrastructure projects.
“Now the Treasurer is not only trying to ram through legislation which essentially seeks to remove Hobart City Council from the Macquarie Point planning process, he’s shown how badly he has mismanaged the budget by having to sell century-old assets.
“This is a deeply cynical exercise that will anger Tasmanians who are right to be asking: What’s next?”