Premier Mark McGowan has refused to join the Leader of The Nationals WA and the Leader of the Opposition in a show of bipartisan support for a change in the GST distribution formula.
Leader Mia Davies today presented the Premier with a letter addressed to Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten seeking an assurance that his party would support the Commonwealth Government’s proposed GST formula change.
The letter, signed by both Ms Davies and State Opposition Leader Mike Nahan, was offered to the Premier to sign but he refused.
“Today is a disappointing day for Western Australia. The Premier could not put petty politics aside and commit to a bipartisan approach which would have sent a strong message of unity across the Nullabor,” Ms Davies said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said the only thing standing in the way of a fairer deal for Western Australia is Mr Shorten’s reluctance to commit to a change in the GST formula.
“Specifically, the transition to a new benchmark to ensure the fiscal capacity of all states is at least equal to New South Wales or Victoria – whichever is higher,” Ms Davies said.
“Despite being on the record supporting a change to the formula, Mr McGowan would not to put pen to paper today.”
Ms Davies said the GST inequity, which has deprived West Australians of billions of dollars that are rightfully theirs, should transcend political battlelines.
“On the GST issue I feel West Australians would welcome a unified approach,” Ms Davies said.
“The Premier and his WA Labor colleagues have already said they support the proposition put forward by Mr Morrison so there is no reason not to sign the letter urging Mr Shorten to do the same.”