State Finance Minister Rachel Nolan’s attack on Council’s bus program this morning highlights the good value the deal is delivering for Brisbane ratepayers, Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said today.
It was former Labor Premier Beattie, who Ms Nolan served under, who pioneered the deal with Campbell Newman.
The Lord Mayor said Brisbane City Council was currently spending about $200 million on public transport – the only Council in southeast Queensland to make a significant contribution.
“Brisbane ratepayers are subsidising public transport to the tune of $159 million per person this year while most other councils pay virtually nothing,” Cr Quirk said.
“This is on top of building bus depots, a new factory to build our record number of new buses and paying the drivers to keep them on the road. Where’s the mention of that?
“This deal means we can build a record 500 new equivalent buses this term without ratepayers having to wear the heavy capital burden that goes with it.
“That tells me this Council is delivering the best value for its ratepayers, not sending it broke. Peter Beattie obviously saw that too.
“The sad reality is this deal was done at a time when State Labor Governments were willing to work with local governments, not spend all their time and energy attacking them.
“Clearly the Bligh Government is rattled by the great job Campbell Newman did running this city when he was Lord Mayor and this false attack just proves it.”
Today’s attack following’s another embarrassing false claim by State Treasurer Andrew Fraser about Council’s finances yesterday, when it was revealed that Brisbane City Council was in a much better financial position than the State Government, which is currently borrowing to keep the lights.
Currently the State Government’s debt borrowings are 122 per cent of their $45 billion budget, while Brisbane City Council’s debt levels are just 49 per cent of its $2.9 billion budget.
The State Government’s debt levels are currently in excess of $11,500 per person, while BCC’s debt is just $1305 per person.