Premier’s $1.6 million distrust of the federal Albanese Labor Government

Apr 30, 2023 | State News, Steve Thomas MLC

The Shadow Treasurer Dr Steve Thomas says that the McGowan Government’s distrust of their federal Labor colleagues is fully on display with their need to mount a $1.6 million campaign to retain Western Australia’s new GST floor arrangement.

“The previous Coalition Government put in place legislation in 2018 that gave an iron clad guarantee of a 70% return of the GST raised here in WA, which rises in coming years to 75%” Dr Thomas said.

“Only new legislation introduced and passed by a federal Labor Government can alter that.

“There is no point being afraid of the reviews of the Commonwealth Grants Commission or Productivity Commission because they can only report on the outcomes of past and make recommendations to the Federal Albanese Government.

“Which means the only people who can inspire fear over our GST share are Anthony Albanese and Jim Chalmers themselves, because only the Federal Labor Government can change the GST distribution in the future.”

“The buck stops entirely with the Albanese Government on any potential change, so Mark McGowan is paying out $1.6 million of Western Australian taxpayers’ money over the next three years to block the threat of Anthony Albanese and federal Labor. It is a $1.6 million lack of confidence in his federal colleagues.

Dr Thomas said there was no doubt that the boasting by WA Premier Mark McGowan about his massive budget surpluses had turned up the heat on the interstate GST debate.

“Mark McGowan enjoys showing off his financial position, and his lecturing of those premiers who have not had the same financial luck is arrogantly driving those other states to cry foul” Dr Thomas said.

“Other Premiers have not enjoyed the biggest fiscal boom in history thanks to ore royalties, and someone should explain to Mr McGowan that his success has been because WA has over 90% of the nation’s iron ore reserves and accounts for almost all of the nation’s iron ore production and exports.

“Mr McGowan is about to announce another multi-billion surplus which is due to those iron ore royalties and the current GST arrangement, and it has little to do with the Premier and Treasurer’s financial management.”

“Sadly, the arrogance of Mark McGowan is directly contributing to the pressure being exerted over east to change the GST distribution, now costing the state $1.6 million” Dr Thomas said.

“He needs to get an iron clad guarantee that Federal Labor will not change the distribution going forward, and that guarantee should not be costing the people of this state $1.6 million.”