Queensland's electricity infrastructure needs some TLC

THE Queensland Government will look at new and innovative ways in a bid to upgrade the state's aging electricity infrastructure.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls said today a market sounding process had begin to look at whether the private sector was willing to invest in expanding the Ergon, Energex and Powerlink networks.

He said the state would retain ownership of the three companies and enter a non-share equity arrangement with potential investors.

"When we got the Commission of Audit report back we said we would investigate innovative ways of introducing private capital into the expansion we need," he said

"We know there is $15 billion coming down the road at us in terms of capital that needs to be spent for that expansion to happen.

"This is one way of addressing that and it is why we are going to the market to see if there is an appetite for it."

Mr Nicholls said the former Labor government had maxed out the state's credit card blaming it squarely for the situation the current government finds itself in.

"This is part of a clear and methodical plan to fix the state's finances after Labor left Queenslanders with unsustainable levels of debt and deficit," he said.

"Business as usual is not an option and accordingly we have been engaged in a process to identify a potential structure which could see private sector investment offset the need for further debt to be incurred."

However, an Electrical Trade Union spokesman claimed the State Government planned to sell assets well before the Commission of Audit was handed down.

"We will be campaigning against the re-election of an LNP Government that has failed disastrously for Queensland's working families," he said.

"They have failed and they will be held accountable at the next election."



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