State hits out over GST fears

Julie Bishop
Julie Bishop

THE state government has seized on comments by a senior Coalition MP to accuse the Liberals of still threatening Tasmania's GST share.

Federal Deputy Opposition Leader and West Australian MP Julie Bishop said yesterday that her state was entitled to a fairer share of GST revenue.

WA Premier Colin Barnett, who is campaigning for a second term, said last week that he would continue pushing the federal government for a greater slice of GST revenue for the boom state.

Ms Bishop said the Premier had a point.

"We agree that Western Australia should have a fair go," Ms Bishop told Sky News yesterday.

"We'll certainly be looking at the GST in government."

While she wouldn't comment specifically on the changes the Coalition may make to the GST, Ms Bishop acknowledged that WA's share of revenue from the tax was reducing.

"We'll certainly have a hard look at it, whether it means a new system or not remains to be seen."

Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings said this showed that state Opposition Leader Will Hodgman was unable to convince his federal colleagues of the terrible impact a cut to Tasmania's GST share would have on the state.

"Mr Hodgman needs to get himself to Canberra immediately and face off with Mr Abbott and come back with an iron clad assurance that a federal Liberal government will not change the current system of GST distribution to the states," Ms Giddings said.

A spokesman for Mr Hodgman said Mr Abbott had pledged Tasmania would not be worse off under a government led by him.

Mr Barnett wants the $50million GST pool distributed on a population basis, cutting Tasmania's share by at least $600 million.


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