Solid plan for State’s debt man­age­ment is needed

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

THE re­ply from Aaron Harper, Co­ralee O’Rourke and Scott Stewart ( TB 13/ 06/ 15) about State debt man­age­ment, when it even­tu­ally came, was less than im­pres­sive.

Only one ( short) sen­tence had any bear­ing on the sub­ject in ques­tion.

Just say­ing that the Palaszczuk Gov­ern­ment will pay down “gen­eral gov­ern­ment sec­tor” debt by $ 1.2 bil­lion a year us­ing a “spe­cial debt re­duc­tion trust” sounds more like a thought bub­ble than a plan as such. And what does that mean any­way?

I think it’s true to say that trans­parency, ie. open­ness and clar­ity, builds trust while the lack of it does the op- posite. So, bear­ing that in mind, I won­der if Co­ralee, Aaron and Scott can get back through this public ( TB letters) fo­rum with a bit more de­tail about what’s go­ing on.

Can you ( es­pe­cially) con­firm that what you said ( TB 13/ 06/ 15) does mean Queens­land’s gov­ern­ment debt WILL be seen to trend down by about ( on av­er­age) $ 1.2 bil­lion in each and ev­ery year un­der your gov­ern­ment’s fis­cal man­age­ment? I fear it might mean some­thing dif­fer­ent.

Firstly, I fail to see the need for a “spe­cial debt re­duc­tion trust” ( what­ever that re­ally is).

And se­condly, I fail to see the need for this “gen­eral gov­ern­ment sec­tor” dis­tinc­tion. I would have thought “Queens­land’s gov­ern­ment debt” is “Queens­land’s gov­ern­ment debt”– end of story.

Why couldn’t you have just said some­thing like: we will pay down the debt by $ 1.2 bil­lion a year with­out run­ning any form of con­cur­rent ( com­pro­mis­ing) bud­get deficit.

I’m not alone in say­ing that Queens­land is pay­ing an un­ac­cept­able price for the prof­li­gate ex­cesses of past gov­ern­ments.

As Peter Smith ( TB 23/ 06/ 15) so cor­rectly pointed out, fu­ture Queens­lan­ders are go­ing to in­herit this bur­den­some legacy un­less an ef­fec­tive debt re­duc­tion strat­egy can be de­vised and locked in ASAP.

The last thing we need at this time is a re­turn of Bligh- style over­spend­ing.

For good­ness sake, think of Greece. What is it they say about those who don’t learn from history?

A path­way out of this debt predica­ment does have to be charted. An open and struc­tured dis­cus­sion about how best to do what needs to be done is what we should be hav­ing, but aren’t.

I ex­hort Co­ralee, Scott and Aaron to crack the whip and get the Palaszczuk Gov­ern­ment into mo­tion.

DICK MUR­RAY,

Cran­brook.

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