Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance and the Public Service
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for Western Australia
MIKE CRICHTON: Now changes to the GST distribution including a new floor of 75 cents have cleared Federal Parliament after a long fight lead by Western Australia to get a fairer deal. Joining me this morning on the line from Canberra is the Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Mathias Cormann. Thanks for your time this morning Minister.
MATHIAS CORMANN: Good morning to you and to your listeners.
MIKE CRICHTON: Now Minister, when the Prime Minister was here in Perth a few weeks ago, he did announce this about the GST changes. It is pretty good that it went through so quickly.
MATHIAS CORMANN: It has been a long journey, but today is a great day for Western Australia, it is a great day for Australia. The Australian GST sharing arrangements were broken. They needed to be fixed. The system was unfair to Western Australia and not sustainable into the future. As WA Liberal Members and Senators we have been fighting for years now for a better deal for WA when it comes to GST sharing arrangements. Initially as a short-term measure, we secured about $1.4 billion worth of federal top up payments to support investments in WA infrastructure, which was much needed. But we also of course pursued the Productivity Commission inquiry, which took a little while, which assessed the national productivity and growth implications from the way the GST sharing arrangements worked in the past. Today, the Senate unanimously passed our plan to fix GST sharing arrangements. It means $4.7 billion in additional revenue to the state of Western Australia between now and 2026-27. Money, which will be able to be invested in schools and hospitals and more police and infrastructure. It really is a good outcome and of course, every other state will also be better off. So, we have improved the system for WA in a way that is fair to every other state.
MIKE CRICHTON: Well it is good news that it has passed. Minister, what does it actually, I mean it is great for the country, but in particular, it is very, very good for WA families and businesses.
MATHIAS CORMANN: It means that the State Government in Western Australia will have substantially more revenue to ensure that we continue to have high quality health services, high quality schools, all of the resources needed to continue to invest in our infrastructure and indeed, in our police and all of the many other important services that are provided by our State Government. It is a great day.
MIKE CRICHTON: It is so good Minister, really appreciate you coming on and having a chat with us this morning.
MATHIAS CORMANN: Good to talk to you.