Former premier Bligh gets Medibank spot

Former Queensland premier and privatisation champion Anna Bligh has been appointed to the board of Medibank Private, raising speculation the federal government-owned business could be sold off.

Finance Minister Penny Wong on Tuesday announced the new non-executive director role for Ms Bligh, whose Labor state government lost power earlier this year.

"Her expertise across a wide range of public policy areas will be of great value to Medibank," Senator Wong said in a statement.

As Queensland Labor leader Ms Bligh championed the privatisation of key state-owned assets, including Forestry Plantations Queensland, the Port of Brisbane and coal-carrying rail lines in a bid to balance Queensland's budget.

The federal coalition in early 2010 flagged its plan to sell off Medibank Private in move shadow treasurer Joe Hockey estimated could raise $4.5 billion.

Federal Labor has so far resisted a sale, saying it would cost the budget millions of dollars in foregone dividends, as well as put upward pressure on insurance premiums.

Ms Bligh starts her three-year term from December 21, replacing Philip Twyman, who joined the board in December 2007.

Meanwhile, Dr Cherrell Hirst has been re-appointed to the Medibank board for another three years.

In November, the government appointed former Queensland treasurer Andrew Fraser to the board of the Australian Sports Commission.

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