Bill Shorten abandons Western Australia

The Nationals WA have accused Federal Labor of abandoning Western Australia over its failure to commit to genuine GST reform.

Leader Mia Davies said more concerning still was Premier Mark McGowan’s inability to convince his Canberra colleagues of WA’s plight.

“The Premier has gloated for months about how he dragged the Commonwealth to the table and secured a GST deal yet Mr McGowan cannot even persuade his party’s Federal Leader to commit to fixing the GST inequity,” Ms Davies said.

“The Premier’s claim ignores the groundwork done by The Nationals WA since we were the first to advocate for a GST floor in the Federal Parliament way back in 2011.”

Modelling by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA shows WA will be $1.7 billion worse off under Mr Shorten if Labor doesn’t commit to a complete overhaul of the GST distribution method.

Ms Davies said the Premier and his Treasurer Ben Wyatt had been slapped down by Federal Labor.

“The loser in all of this will be the people of Western Australia who will see hundreds of millions of dollars go by the wayside if Mr Shorten does not support changing the GST distribution formula,” she said.

The Nationals last month presented the Premier with a letter addressed to Mr Shorten calling on Federal Labor to support creating a benchmark for the GST distribution system to ensure the fiscal capacity of all states was at least the equal of NSW or Victoria.

“The letter, signed by both myself and the Leader of the Liberal Party in WA, was a chance to put up a united front and show Mr Shorten how serious all parties were about getting the right outcome for our State,” Ms Davies said.

“Mr McGowan flat out refused to sign it and now we know why.” 

Senate candidate Nick Fardell said The Nationals WA were the only party committed to ending WA’s GST injustice.

“In 2011 – before it was politically popular to do so – our Member for O’Connor Tony Crook introduced a motion into the Federal Parliament calling for a floor in the GST,” Mr Fardell said.

“If the WA politicians in the chamber at the time had the guts to support it perhaps we would not be in this mess.

“The only way to guarantee GST reform in the face of major party politicking is by sending The Nationals WA back to Canberra to fight for our fair share.”

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