Western Australia is set to receive a financial boon from the federal government in a boost to the state’s hospitals, as part of a top up to state’s GST.
The Turnbull government will give WA $188.9 million with most of the funds going to redeveloping Joondalup Health Campus, with the remainder going to other hospital projects and upgrades
“This funding boost is a recognition that WA hasn’t been getting its fair share, and it will go a long way to helping us deliver us deliver our election commitment to redevelop Joondalup Health Campus and put patients first in the northern suburbs,” health minister Roger Cooks said.
“Planning for these upgrades are underway and we look forward to partnering with Ramsay Health Care to improve services at Joondalup to meet the needs of this growing local community.”
$150 million will go towards Joondalup Health Campus, $10.6 million for the Osborne Park Hospital project, while $4 million will be devoted to upgrades of Royal Perth Hospital with another $16.3 million provided depending on the completion of a business case for upgrades.
Joondalup Health Campus is in the key marginal seat of Pearce held by Attorney General Christian Porter, while Osborne Park Hospital is in the marginal seat of Stirling held by Human Services Minister Michael Keenan.
The federal government has provided the funds to expand and improve hospital facilities while helping save lies and improve patient care.
However, it will also boost WA’s share of the GST to 50 cents in the dollar for next year.
Mr Cook said the federal government had recognised WA did not receive a fair share of the GST,
“The McGowan Government has made it clear that Western Australia deserves its fair share from Canberra,” he said.
“We’ve outlined our priorities and secured this funding contribution from the Turnbull Government that will benefit WA.”
Federal finance minister Matthias Cormann, who was in WA for the announcement, denied the money was an attempt to buy votes.
He did however, say WA’s share of the GST was too low and a long-term solution was to be developed despite the current financial top-up.
“This is the fourth consecutive year that we’ve done this – this is not new,” Mr Cormann said.
“We didn’t think it was appropriate WA’s GST be allowed to fall below 30 cents in the dollar.”