Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for Western Australia
SAMANTHA JOLLY: And Finance Minister Mathias Cormann joins us now live from the Seven newsroom, Minister, thank you for joining us this afternoon, firstly, the Opposition is challenging you to say where this money is coming from?
MATHIAS CORMANN: Well the money is coming from a better Budget bottom line as a result of stronger economic growth, better economic management and better budget management. That is what you can do. We inherited a weakening economy, rising unemployment and a rapidly deteriorating budget position. The Budget is now in a stronger position, which is why we are able to pursue important and necessary reforms like this one.
SAMANTHA JOLLY: WA is not in the clear just yet though, the Federal Government wants all other States to sign off on this first.
MATHIAS CORMANN: We have put forward our proposed way forward, which we believe is a fairer and better deal for WA. It is a better deal for our national economy, but it is also an approach which is fair to every other State and Territory, because all other States and Territories are better off as a result of what we have put on the table. The initial response from State and Territory Governments around Australia has been quite encouraging. Understandably, they want to look at the detail, they want to work through the numbers and we respect that, but we are quietly optimistic that this will ultimately be supported by everyone.
SAMANTHA JOLLY: And it seems that Liberal and Labor are both claiming this as a political win.
MATHIAS CORMANN: This is not about politics. This is about doing what is right. This has been in the too hard basket for way too long. We have been providing top-up payments over the last couple of years to the tune of $1.4 billion to Western Australia. That was never an appropriate long-term solution. That was only ever a short term fix. We are quite happy for everyone who wants to take a share of the credit, as long as this is landed successfully as soon as possible.
SAMANTHA JOLLY: Finance Minister, Mathias Cormann, thanks for your time.
MATHIAS CORMANN: Always good to talk to you.