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Nationals WA call for clarity on Prime Minister’s GST plans

For more information, contact Dave Grills Grills (Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region).

Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Dave Grills 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.

Mr Grills said the Prime Minister announced plans to create a floor in GST during a recent visit to WA in August, yet he had now done a backflip, stating the floor will not be required.

"The Prime Minister admitted WA’s share of GST is unfair, and the Treasurer’s labelled it "absurd"," Mr Grills 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 Grills said the Nationals WA was the only party that had made a stand on the floor of Federal Parliament to secure a better GST deal for WA.

"As the former Nationals WA Member for O’Connor, Tony Crook introduced a motion to guarantee a 75c in the dollar floor for GST returns back in 2011. However, no other West Australian federal MP, Liberal or Labor, supported the motion. Rather, they sided with their eastern states colleagues against the interests of their own State," Mr Grills said.

"Western Australia has served as the nation’s economic engine room in recent years but we are being heavily penalised under current GST arrangements."

Nationals WA Candidate for Kalgoorlie Tony Crook 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 resources sector," Mr Crook said.

"During this time almost 500,000 people moved to the State following jobs in the sector and the State Government invested in new infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, power and water, transport and housing to accommodate this population expansion.

"These conditions have created the perfect fiscal storm. If the Prime Minister does not fix the GST, we will continue to face a structural deficit here in WA."

For media enquiries contact Dave Grills MLC on (08) 9071 500 or email dave.grills@mp.wa.gov.au