Bill short on de­tail about GST plans

Pilbara News - - News -

Fed­eral La­bor leader Bill Shorten has crit­i­cised Mal­colm Turn­bull for fail­ing to de­liver any in­creased GST for WA de­spite “pump­ing up hopes”, but de­clined to out­line his own plan for im­prov­ing the State’s tax woes.

Mr Shorten, in Jan­dakot to back lo­cal La­bor leader Mark McGowan’s elec­tion pitch to re­move Perth from a Fed­eral skilled mi­gra­tion list, por­trayed the PM as no friend of WA for pre­sid­ing over the State’s dis­as­trous GST take of 30c in the dol­lar.

In Au­gust Mr Turn­bull promised to im­pose a floor below which no State’s share could fall once WA’s share had re­bounded, a pledge which has since been un­der­mined by new pro­jec­tions that the State’s share will lan­guish below 70c for at least the next four fi­nan­cial years. Mr Shorten said Mr Turn­bull had a track record of rais­ing ex­pec­ta­tions and “on the GST he has been a mas­sive dis­ap­point­ment”.

But when pressed on what he as PM would of­fer WA, Mr Shorten gave no guar­an­tees.

“We recog­nise, and I recog­nise, I think the cur­rent deal isn’t fair,” he said.

“In terms of the best way to progress it we will lis­ten care­fully to Mark. I per­son­ally get the ar­gu­ment about a floor.”

Mr Shorten pledged to in­crease over­all Com­mon­wealth fund­ing for WA.

“When I look at in­vest­ment in Western Aus­tralia I don’t just look at the GST,” he said.

“I look at our Medi­care sys­tem and our roads and rail projects that Mark McGowan is such a cham­pion of,” he said.

Mr McGowan said he had ar­gued con­sis­tently for a GST floor of 80 cents in the dol­lar.

Mr McGowan said he did not want to see Colin Bar­nett “sneak back into of­fice on the back of a sneaky pref­er­ence deal” with One Na­tion but re­fused to rule out La­bor en­ter­ing into pref­er­ence swaps with the mi­nor party.

Pic­ture: Sharon Smith

Fed­eral Op­po­si­tion leader Bill Shorten in Jan­dakot on the elec­tion trail with Mark McGowan.

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