Qld Treasurer Tim Nicholls.
Qld Treasurer Tim Nicholls. Dave Hunt

Qld Govt seriously looking at privatising state's TAFE system

TAFE privatisation is a top priority amid the Queensland Government's "contestability" reforms.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls took a long pause before answering a question from the floor during his post-budget LNP lunch speech but then forged ahead with gusto on a topic likely to generate much debate.

He said Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek had undertaken an extensive review of the TAFE system and decisions were already being made at Cabinet level.

Contestability - which means outsourcing government services if the private sector can deliver them better - has been discussed in earnest since the Costello Commission of Audit was handed down.

"I think that is fair to say that is one of the areas of reform in Queensland that will be very much at the top of our list when it comes to the contestability issues," Mr Nicholls said.

"We're aware of the various models being promoted including in Victoria where it's probably been most aggressively reformed.

"We are starting that process now where Cabinet has made some decisions in relation to that reform agenda.

"I think there will be more to come in that space."

Mr Nicholls had earlier reinforced his government's stance on not selling state assets without voter mandate.

But he said the government was working through contestability options and creating an implementation plan.

"That needs to be brought back to the Cabinet and that implementation plan will outline the steps that all of the departments will be taking in relation to the contestability process," he said.


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