Vacant land at Gladstone Ports Corporation is one of the locations the State Government is eyeing for a sell off.
Vacant land at Gladstone Ports Corporation is one of the locations the State Government is eyeing for a sell off. Brenda Strong/File photo

State to sell off land to bankroll projects

THE vast expanses of State Government land, Gladstone Ports Corporation's vacant land, Gladstone Show Society and the vacated Hibisicus Gardens Aged Care are just some of the land that could be up for sale under the Palaszczuk Government's new strategy.

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The Advancing Our Cities and Regions Strategy was announced on Thursday where "surplus and underutilised" state land is sold.

Ms Palaszczuk pointed to models of this occurring in Brisbane, Townsville, Ipswich, Mackay and Rockhampton.

"This is land that we don't need for future schools, hospitals and roads," she said. "This is land not being used to the benefit of the community."

With consultation with local governments a "dedicated unit" in the State Development Department will determine which land is up for grabs.

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The program would look to turn the "surplus and underutilised" land into more social housing, renewable energy sites and community infrastructure to improve the liveability of a region.

"We have enormous opportunities in front of us to deliver strategic urban renewal projects which will redefine our cities and regions," Ms Palaszczuk said.

But the opposition, which was heavily criticised during the election for its policies on asset sales, has called it a "desperate fire sale of state-owned land".

Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls said Labor committed before the election it would not sell assets and they broke that promise yesterday.

"Queenslanders learnt that Annastacia Palaszczuk just can't be trusted," he said.

Labor member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher backed the premier insisting there were no election promises broken.

"We're definitely not selling assets, this is land not being used, not set aside for hospitals or schools," he said. "It is not an income generating asset that we're selling."

He said the strategy could benefit Gladstone by either freeing up money to finish East Shores Stage 1B and upgrade Auckland Point to cater for larger cruise liners.

Last month Queensland treasurer Curtis Pitt toured Gladstone Harbour and was asked to consider chipping in $3.5 million for a new cruise ship hub to cater for ships with as many as 5000 passengers.

Gladstone Ports Corporation chief executive officer Peter O'Sullivan also said at the same time funds would be secured within the next two months to finish Stage 1B of East Shores.

"This strategy is about finding those facilities that would help us deliver infrastructure like East Shores because we want people to stay in Gladstone and East Shores is raising the profile at the moment," Mr Butcher said.

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