Hodgman ready to fight for Tasmania

PREMIER Will Hodgman said he was "very happy" with the outcome of yesterday's Council of Australian Governments meeting in Canberra, despite the state opposition accusing him of "failing his first test".

Wlll Hodgman

Wlll Hodgman

Attending his first meeting since winning government, Mr Hodgman said he would "fight every step of the way" on any changes to GST distribution, which were flagged in a report commissioned by the federal government released on Thursday.

"We do not support what's proposed and I will certainly stand up for Tasmania," Mr Hodgman said.

"I'm very serious about the big job we've got ahead of us, and that is to get Tasmania's economy back up and firing on all cylinders," he said.

The council, made up of all state premiers and chaired by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, discussed seven areas, including investment in infrastructure, improving outcomes for Indiginous Australians and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Mr Hodgman signed an agreement which would see Tasmania receive a 15 per cent premium on the sale of the Aurora customer list.

"Given this assurance, clearly this was an offer from the Commonwealth that would have been foolish to refuse," Mr Hodgman said.

Deregulation was also a hot topic, with the council targeting the removal of red tape in the small business sector and duplication between the two tiers of government.

"I'm really excited about the opportunity to have this discussion with my colleagues and indeed the commonwealth government about deregulation," Mr Hodgman said.

Opposition leader Bryan Green said Mr Hodgman had "failed his first step in standing up for Tasmania".

"West Australia Premier Colin Barnett emerged from the COAG meeting declaring that he had won the argument on the need for a per capita distribution system for GST," Mr Green said.

"Tasmania stands to lose $700 million a year because Will Hodgman doesn't have the clout to stand up to the big Liberal states," Mr Green said.


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