Despite an Institute of Public Affairs report showing that over $28billion of WA’s GST collection has been ripped out of WA since 2000, Federal Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, has again refused to commit to wide-scale reform of the GST distribution.
“West Australians could trust Labor’s promise to create a de facto 70 cents floor on its GST return with a top-up fund that would be legislated,” he told local media this week during a visit to Perth.
In the last three years, WA has received just $1.2billion in top-ups of infrastructure spending from the Federal Government, to compensate the GST shortfall.
This is significantly short of the $28billion they have used to prop-up laggard economies on the east coast since the turn of the century.
They rip tens of billions of dollars out of WA, then give us a pittance back and expect us to be pleased with them,” said Put WA First convenor, Chas Hopkins.
“Well I’ve got news for Bill Shorten, Western Australians are not pleased.”
After refusing to commit to any reforms to the GST distribution system, Bill Shorten told the media, “It’s not at the discretion of the Commonwealth, depending on what mood the Commonwealth gets out of bed in the morning.
“The allocation of it would be decided in conjunction with the Western Australian Government.”
Mr Hopkins said the comment was another example of Bill Shorten’s unbelievable rhetoric.
“The Commonwealth does have the power and discretion to reform the system, they always have had, it’s just that no Federal Government has had the courage to do anything about it.
“And to say that allocations would be decided in conjunction with the Western Australian Government is just a hollow election promise.
Mr Hopkins said Mr Shorten would have to fight off five, very powerful, very angry state premiers if he wanted to do an exclusive deal with Mark McGowan.
“It would be impossible and he knows it. The only way to fix the GST system is with independent members on the floor of the Senate.”
Put WA First is a single-issue political party focussed on reforming the GST system, intending to field candidates for the Senate and selected House of Representatives seats in WA at the forthcoming Federal Election.