Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt
Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt Chris Ison

LNP accused of 'fattening up' SPER for privatising

LABOR has accused the LNP of trying to fatten up Queensland's debt collection service as part of a "sneaky plan" to sell it off to private contractors.

As Treasurer Curtis Pitt ruled out continuing with plans to outsource the main debt collection functions from the State Penalties Enforcement Registry, the LNP denied in parliament it was sneaky about its plans.

"They even set aside more than $25 million of public money to pursue their plan and tried to sell it as a 'reform', promising to be 'flexible' about how they dealt with debt," Mr Pitt said.

"Tim Nicholls and the LNP was clearly fattening up SPER for outsourcing in what was effectively another LNP privatisation-by-stealth.

"Would bounty hunters have started to appear at the doorsteps of those who didn't pay their Gateway Bridge toll?

"I shudder to think about the possibilities the LNP had in store when it came to private debt collection."

Former treasurer Tim Nicholls, now speaking from the opposition benches in parliament, said he was questioned about the plan during estimates last year.

"It was a plan that was so sneaky that three pages were dedicated to it in estimates last year, a plan so sneaky that we had the Commissioner of Stamp Duties answering questions and going through the entire process," he said.

Mr Pitt said Labor would look at other options, including information and communication technologies, to tackle the debt load.

"SPER debt is projected to hit $1 billion this year, so it's crucial that we develop a more efficient and sustainable way of collecting that debt," he said.

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