In a controversial move, Treasurer Tim Nicholls has announced that Queensland will sell some of the state’s most valuable assets to New South Wales.
Top of the list are Maroon State of Origin rugby league players.
In announcing the Queensland Budget asset sales, Mr Nicholls said the government hoped to generate at least $100 million from selling sporting assets.
“It’s no secret that our Maroons aren’t getting any younger. Origin 1 this year proved that. It’s vital that we sell these valuable assets now, before it’s too late.”
Mr Nicholls emphasised that the Newman government would ensure Queensland got top value for its State of Origin stars.
“Unlike our predecessors we are not going to go to a fire sale of assets. We are going to very carefully manage the process to ensure we get the maximum value for Queenslanders.”
Mr Nicholls expects Greg Inglis to fetch the highest price due to New South Wales’ sentimental attachment to the fact he was born in New South Wales and played there first.
“Don’t tell me John Singleton won’t pay $50 million to see GI in a blue jersey,” said Mr Nicholls. “And don’t tell me that Queenslanders wouldn’t welcome $50 million being cut from state debt.”
Public outrage at asset sales
The move to sell Queensland footballers – including Queensland footballers from New South Wales – has attracted fiery criticism from the public.
“I would rather my entire family die in a fire than Billy Slater play for the Blues,” wrote Helen on the Courier-Mail website.
“I say we should sell Tim Nikolls. Except he’s not worth a fricking cent!!!!” wrote Pozzo from Innisfail.
The player themselves are said to be torn by the idea of being bought and sold for vast sums of money.
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