Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has talked down the prospect of big asset sales to free up capital and reduce the state's debt, but adding that further public service job cuts may be necessary, according to The Australian Financial Review.
Mr Newman, approaching the end of his first year in office, said his goal is to rebalance the state's budget and regain its AAA credit rating without exploring further asset sales.
“I think we have made more politically tough decisions than any government since Kennett. We've taken very significant political risks,” Mr Newman said, according to the AFR. “But how much political capital do we have to burn? That's the issue. I think the people of Queensland have said they don't like asset sales. They were very suspicious of it because they have been promised stuff before.”
His comments come ahead of the expected release of the final Costello Commission of Audit, due in February, which is expected to recommend the privatisation of public assets as the best way for Queensland to repay its rising debt.