Queensland's opposition leadership a surprise package
The new leader-in-waiting of the Queensland opposition and Brisbane’s Lord Mayor, Campbell Newman, has announced that if elected Premier he will cut the size of the state’s public service and restructure some of its government departments in a bid to create savings for infrastructure investment.
Mr Newman’s announcements have surprised members of his own party with policies that had not been discussed, and some insiders have suggested that he was caught ‘on the hop’ with questions from reporters about his electoral platform.
Mr Newman’s plan includes winding back the power of the Urban Land Development Authority, which was set up in 2008 as part of the Queensland Housing Affordability Strategy to oversee major urban development.
Mr Newman also said he would scrap the five bulk water supply entities and combine their functions in one agency, and “non-performing” assets, like the recycled water scheme would be closed. Mr Newman was also considering further outsourcing and privatisations, including selling off the remaining coal terminals.
Other state departments are likely to be streamlined and their staff numbers reduced.
Mr Newman will be endorsed as the LNP's candidate for the Labor-held seat of Ashgrove on Sunday before becoming LNP leader.
Meanwhile, Queensland's Crime and Misconduct Commission is investigating whether the party's president, Bruce McIver, offered a bribe or inducement to a sitting MP to leave his seat for Campbell Newman. It is alleged Mr McIver offered Member for Mogill, Bruce Flegg, the position of Queensland’s Agent General in London under a future LNP government if he vacated his seat to allow the Lord Mayor of Brisbane to contest it.