WA stance on GST carve-up ‘arrogant’

OPPOSITION finance spokesman Scott Bacon says claims Western Australia is being “scandalously” deprived of GST revenues are an “extraordinary display of arrogance”.

West Australian Liberal Senator David Johnston and Premier Colin Barnett are the latest to lament the handling of revenues from the federal tax, following similar calls from WA Treasurer Mike Nahan last week.

The three have voiced their outrage that Western Australia parts with billions of dollars in GST revenues raised in their state each year, with a large chunk ending up in Tasmania.

The WA government wants the GST distribution formula changed to a straight population share, which would cost Tasmania about $700 million a year.

The trio’s complaints have been rebuked by their Tasmanian Liberal colleagues, who vowed to fight any changes to the carve-up.

Mr Bacon said yesterday Labor was also opposed to any changes to the formula.

He said the West Australian politicians failed to recognise while the mining boom had benefited their state enormously, it had significantly disadvantaged states with less mining activity.

“The mining boom has forced the Australian dollar to historic highs and created a two-speed economy,” Mr Bacon said.

“The surging Australian dollar has cut the export earnings of trade-exposed states such as Tasmania and reduced our competitiveness.”

Mr Bacon said Tasmanian primary producers, manufacturers and tourism operators were among those hardest hit by the soaring dollar.

He said wealth generated by natural resources in Western Australia belonged to all Australians, not just those living in the state.

WA Treasurer Mike Nahan bags North-West, Tasmania$145m GST hit for TassieThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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