THE Newman Government’s plan to recapture Queensland’s AAA credit rating has received an overwhelming tick of approval from Japanese bond investors.
Treasurer and Minister for Trade Tim Nicholls last week met with representatives from leading financial institutions at a Queensland Treasury Corporation Roadshow in Tokyo.
Mr Nicholls said investors were interested to know what the Queensland Government was doing to reduce debt and regain the top rating for the state’s economy.
“Japanese investors already understand the position of Queensland’s finances,” he said.
“They understand the state’s debt position and what they have said most clearly is we want you to be transparent and tell us what the true state of the figures is.
“I was able to outline the Newman Government’s plan to achieve a fiscal balance in the 2014-15 budget.
“Once we achieve this goal debt will stabilise and we can begin the task of paying off the huge level of de bt accrued by the former Labor Government.”
The previous Bligh-Fraser Government lost Queensland’s AAA credit rating in 2009, as a result Queensland’s borrowing costs, relative to the other large Australian states, are forecast to be $100 million more in 2012-13.
“Getting the AAA credit rating back will have a positive benefit and bring the state back closer in line to New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia,” Mr Nicholls said.
Mr Nicholls also hit back at Labor Treasury spokesman Curtis Pitt for selectively quoting from a QTC investor’s book being used at the Roadshows.
“Mr Pitt’s claim that I have been talking the economy down at home while talking the economy up abroad is completely false,” he said.
“He has selectively quoted extracts from an 80-page document in an attempt to hide the failings of the former government.
“When I talk about State debt hitting $64 billion in 2011-12 and a debt to revenue ratio climbing to 155 per cent it is not an indictment on the Queensland economy, it is an indictment on the former Government and the people who allowed the financial position to deteriorate so rapidly, including Mr Pitt.”