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A senior government minister does not need to apologise for labelling Queensland Rail as a "rort", Premier Anna Bligh says.
Public Works Minister Robert Schwarten spoke of "the rort that is Queensland Rail" in parliament on Tuesday.
The minister was speaking of subsidies for multinational coal companies by previous governments, which had robbed core services, like health, of funding.
Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek said Mr Schwarten's comment had offended rail workers and put the upcoming QR National float under jeopardy.
The freight company, which operates across five Australian states, is among the entities being sold off under the Bligh government's controversial asset sales program.
But Ms Bligh said the allegation the sale was now in jeopardy was nonsense.
Asked if Mr Schwarten should apologise, she said: "I doubt it."
"As is often the case, Robert used some pretty colourful language today," she said.
"But I think for anyone looking at investing in Queensland Rail National, they understand that this is an industry that has enjoyed subsidies from the taxpayer over a period of time as the industry developed."
She said the very reason it was being put to market was because it was now a viable entity on its own.
© 2010 AAP
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