In Question Time today the Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, extracted a commitment from both the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader that any government they lead after the next federal election will not reduce Tasmania’s share of GST.
“This is a very significant development,” Mr Wilkie said.
“On the floor of the Parliament, recorded in Hansard for all time and in the gaze of the national media both the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader have been compelled to make unambiguous statements to the effect that Tasmania’s share of the GST will not be cut after the next election.”
Mr Wilkie said the Opposition Leader’s statement was particularly significant considering the Liberal Party’s previous ambiguity on GST. Mr Abbott committed:
“I want to make it crystal clear that in respect of GST allocations Tasmania will not be worse off under any future Coalition government.”
“This was also a demonstration of the flexibility and innovation an Independent brings to the Parliament, being able to buck convention and ask a question to both the PM and Opposition Leader during Question Time,” Mr Wilkie said.
A copy of Hansard will be distributed as soon as available.
A video copy of Mr Wilkie’s question, the Prime Minister’s response and Opposition Leader’s subsequent statement is available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yw5wJxHQSRE