Protesters gathered outside Frenchville State School where the Newman Government held its Community Cabinet on Sunday 14 Sept 14. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Protesters gathered outside Frenchville State School where the Newman Government held its Community Cabinet on Sunday 14 Sept 14. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison

Asset sales rile union, public meeting next week

NEIL Henderson paints a bleak picture for Rockhampton's future.

He sees major job losses, increased living costs and poorer services just around the corner.

That's if the Newman government's planned asset privatisations go ahead.

Next week Mr Henderson, secretary of the Services Union, will outline his concerns at a public information session in Rockhampton as part of the Not4Sale campaign.

"Ergon and Stanwell are huge employers in the local area, with many families relying on their jobs to put food on the table. If the LNP push through their privatisation agenda, many of these workers won't have a job to go to," he said.

"We know from the leasing of the Brisbane Port Authority that job losses are inevitable; 40% of the staff there were out of work within 12 months of the lease being signed."

Mr Henderson said the Newman government this week announced CS Energy, Stanwell, Powerlink, Ergon and Energex, the Gladstone and Townsville ports, along with Sunwater and various ancillary assets, would be leased if the LNP won the next election.

The intention is for the state-owned assets to be leased for 50 years with an option for lessees to extend the leases for another 49 years if strict terms and conditions have been met.

"The hypocrisy of this government is astounding - Premier Newman said earlier in the year that job losses 'happen with privatisation' and Treasurer Nicholls is on record saying a lease is 'as good as giving away the farm'," Mr Henderson said.

Former Rockhampton councillor Jim Rundle will also speak.

"Now we have the opportunity to look back at the results of previous privatisations and analyse how it's changed our communities," Mr Rundle said.

"The idea to lease and raise quick cash seems to be irresistible to governments.

"Local services and small businesses, which produce local jobs, will suffer if this privatisation bid goes ahead."

NOT4SALE Info Session

WHAT : Locals will be given the opportunity to ask questions and take action in the lead-up to the next state election to protect Queensland's assets

WHERE: Rockhampton CQ Bid Leagues Club

WHEN: Tuesday, October 14, 6pm.



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