This week’s sale of Port of Brisbane for $2.3 billion to a consortium including QIC (a government-owned corporation) generated a few laughs. For example, Professor John Quiggin of Queensland University observed:
While I wouldn’t question the integrity of the process or the participants, it’s undeniable that the optics are terrible.
Regarding QIC, one may ask what the Government is doing owning an investment house anyway?
QIC isn’t essential for any policy purpose of the Government. Queensland Treasury Corporation looks after the Government’s balance sheet, particularly borrowing and re-financing of debt, and is the Government’s key adviser on financial risk management.
QIC is in competition with investment banks and fund managers across Australia, including Colonial First State, UBS and Deutsche Bank, to name only a few. Let’s privatise QIC and avoid any future doubts regarding the integrity of the Government’s financial dealings.