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McGowan to demand fair share of GST

Social Services Minister Christian Porter.
Social Services Minister Christian Porter.

Mark McGowan has vowed to speak to every Labor premier to demand an overhaul of the GST system to deliver more cash to WA.

As Federal Liberal frontbencher Christian Porter taunted Federal Labor for failing to explain how it would fix the GST system, the premier-elect said it was the Turnbull Government that had no credibility on the issue.

The Federal Government is promising a floor of 70¢ in the dollar from which to calculate WA’s GST share.

Mr McGowan said he would argue for a floor of 80¢ and that he spoke with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who told him to liaise directly with him on GST.

“I will be a fierce advocate and the ultimate outcome we seek is 80¢ in the dollar,” Mr McGowan said. “I will take this up with all the Labor premiers, but the truth is the Federal Government can decide what the distribution formula is. Saying all the States need to agree has been a very convenient way of dealing with it at a national level.”

Mr Porter, under pressure in the seat of Pearce after huge swings to Labor, said the Federal Government had done the best it could to deliver to WA voters.

The Government had a plan to deliver a GST floor by 2019-20 but Labor was offering nothing.

“Any kind of floor is a very positive improvement from where we are,” Mr Porter told 6PR.

“This is about the art of the achievable. Not just quick fixes.”

Federal shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said that for all of Mr Porter’s claims the Government had failed WA.

“Liberal prime ministers keep playing this game where they promise WA more GST without any other jurisdiction losing funds, but ultimately they come up with no concrete proposal or plan,” Mr Bowen said.

Federal Labor member for Perth Tim Hammond said all Federal Labor MPs wanted a better GST deal, saying it did not matter how it was achieved.

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