The Queensland Treasurer says he can slash government debt by more than $4 billion by restructuring the balance sheets of state-owned electricity assets.
Curtis Pitt said he would announce full details of the measures in next week’s state budget, but the idea was to reduce the annual interest bill for the state by $600 million over four years.
Mr Pitt said Ergon, Energex and Powerlink’s capital structure would be placed on more commercial terms.
“We are going to get our assets working harder and smarter for us,” he said.
“Bringing these in line with industry standards is going to bring $4.1 billion to be freed up to pay down general government sector debt.”
The Treasurer denied it was just an accounting trick.
“The energy companies are servicing their debt so well that they have ended up with lazy balance sheets,” he said.
“These businesses are currently geared on an average net debt-to-asset base ration of approximately 55 per cent.