I have an opinion piece in today’s Courier-Mail on asset sales/privatisation:
It’s based largely on my speech from a few weeks ago: Productivity and privatisation.
Next month, the Government is due to announce where it intends to spend the $9 billion of privatisation proceeds it isn’t using to pay down debt. While the Government has already provided an indicative, high-level carve up (see below), it still needs to identify specific projects. There is obviously a risk that proceeds could be used to fund popular projects with dubious economic merit in marginal seats. Hence there is a need for Queensland Treasury and the Premier’s Department to ensure a rigorous cost-benefit analysis has been done of all projects.
The proposed Townsville super-stadium certainly warrants close attention from bean counters on George St. It’s unclear why the Government should contribute millions of dollars to provide a venue for the NRL to improve its profitability (see NRL plan for 25,000 seat super-stadium). There doesn’t appear to be a strong public good case for public investment in the stadium, given Townsville already has 1300SMILES Stadium and the Sports Reserve, which can hold important public events as required.