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Clarity needed on Prime Minister’s GST plans

For more information, contact Colin Holt (Member for the South West Region).

NATIONALS Member for the South West Region, Colin Holt MLC has called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to follow through with his commitment to implement a floor in GST distribution given WA’s “unfair” and “absurd” share of GST revenue.

“The Prime Minister admitted WA’s share of GST is unfair, and the Treasurer has labelled it “absurd”,” Mr Holt said. 

“Mr Turnbull stood in front of his Liberal Party colleagues and said WA was right to feel aggrieved over our share of GST and committed to changing the arrangements to ensure a minimum percentage floor of the GST share we receive. 

“It appears Mr Turnbull has done a backflip on his commitment to reform the broken GST system now that he is safe and sound on the east coast.” 

Mr Holt said WA’s GST return is currently 30 cents to the dollar, the lowest of any State since the GST was introduced. Only one other State (NSW) has ever dropped below a 90 cent GST return. 

“While forecasting predicted our GST share would fall, the State Government had to respond to the unprecedented growth in our economy which resulted from a booming mining sector,” Mr Holt said. 

“During this time almost 500,000 people moved into the State and the State Government invested into infrastructure such as new schools, hospitals, power and water, transport and housing to support this growth”. 

“We now have the best paid teachers, nurses and police in Australia, even now when the pressure has resided and the economy has contracted. 

“If the Prime Minister does not fix the GST then we will continue to face a structural deficit here in WA.”