Shorten announces $1.6 billion GST pledge

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten announced his plan for a “Fair Share for WA Fund”, which would see $1.6 billion invested into Australia to make up for the GST shortfall.

Currently Western Australia’s share of the GST is sitting at 34.4 cents per dollar of GST raised in the state, the proposed fund would give an equivalent to a 70 cent in the dollar share.

Mr Shorten promised that the fund would be legislated to ensure funds for WA, and that he plans on being “the first Prime Minister to fix the problem”.

“I do not need a review to tell me that 34 cents in the dollar is a dud deal for the west,” Mr Shorten said.

“This funding is above and beyond the existing commonwealth contribution, it is an invaluable chance to invest… in your states infrastructure. 

Mr McGowan said that he was happy with Mr Shorten’s promise, despite having previously argued for either an 80 cent floor or a per capita distribution for GST.

“A 70 cent floor in the dollar is an important step… of course we would like to see it go further, but I am very appreciative of the fact that at least one side nationally is taking our state seriously.”

WA Liberal Leader Dr Mike Nahan has criticised Mr Shorten’s plan, saying that structural reform is needed and that Mr Shorten has “failed all Australians”.

“Mr Shorten’s proposal is not a solution to structural reform of GST but a political solution for his weekend visit to Western Australia,” Dr Nahan said.

“We need structural reform because the problems besetting Western Australia at the moment and over previous years could well affect New South Wales or Queensland or Victoria in coming years.”

“Bill Shorten is trying to play catch up with the current system of Federal GST top-up payments to WA. A system that was always designed to be an interim solution.”



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