Tasmanian Times


Wilkie secures bipartisan protection of Tassie GST share


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

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  1. Mark

    March 15, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Good on you for asking the question Mr Wilkie, but it’s a bit rich to claim credit for ensuring our GST share will “not be worse off”.

    The record shows that you’re quite prepared to horse-trade Tasmania’s GST share for other issues, whether knowingly or not.

    Tasmania’s GST receipts were reduced by your deal with Ms Gillard to fund the redevelopment of the Royal Hobart Hospital.

    And in your visit to Western Australia last year (you know, where the Premier calls Tasmania the “beggar state” that drains GST), when you spoke about poker machine revenue in GST calculations: “I do think that WA is not being treated fairly, and I do intend when the opportunity arises to champion the need for WA to be treated more fairly in that regard.”

    With GST issues likely to get more exposure during the election campaign, your gambit seems to be more about grabbing a fig leaf to cover your dangly bits.

  2. Stephan

    March 14, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    So Tasmania has lost out on more than $30 million from the Grants Commission. Why? The reason is that Ms Giddings didn’t even bother to plead Tasmania’s case! What’s even more appauling is that when this was exposed by the Liberals Ms Gidding’s Federal counterpart Penny Wong attempted to cover it up. Labor, what a disgrace!

  3. Claire Gilmour

    March 13, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Beautiful Andrew Wilkie. That’s taken one of the main play stings out of the state Labor party’s election mantra strategy. What’s the next one Labor? A thing or two to learn there don’t you think lmxly …?

  4. mikey

    March 13, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Wilkie hasn’t ‘secured’ anything. He asked a question. But what this does show is that Wilkie is on the campaign trail just as much as Gillard and Abbott.

  5. lmxly

    March 13, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Dear me, what a sceptical mob of responses. If Wilkie says he has ‘secured’ bipartisan support for no change to Tasmania’s GST share, then surely we should believe him?

  6. Bob

    March 13, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Come on people give Mr Wilkie due credit for this achievement. At least he is streets ahead of any other Tasmanian based politician on this issue.

  7. TGC

    March 13, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    Pledges are not worth a cracker.

  8. A.K.

    March 13, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Fantasy land, poor old Andrew has been conned again. You can’t believe anything Abetz or Abbott say, they are devout fervent ideologist, far removed from reality. Not a good recipe for sane logical thinking.

    It may be noted, already they have both backtracked and now saying there won’t be to much change, but are liking at it from a per capita stance. So will it be a lose of 100 or 500 million, I’d go for closer to $500 millions reduction.

  9. Simon D

    March 13, 2013 at 10:39 am

    “…unambiguous statements to the effect that…”. Hmmm… That sounds slightly ambiguous to me.

  10. pat synge

    March 13, 2013 at 10:27 am

    As Andrew Wilkie knows from his own experience commitments from political leaders have little real value. Circumstances change. Pragmatism rules. This would hardly be considered a “core promise”.
    Anyway, for what it’s worth, well done.

  11. johno

    March 13, 2013 at 12:07 am

    ‘Will not be worse off’…what does that mean? Is it a revised GST arrangement along per capita lines (as suggested to the West Australians and now expected by Colin Barnett and confirmed by Abetx) but with the additional spend of $400 million on a superfluous 4 lane Midlands Highway? Or perhaps a variation still to be concocted?
    In any event they are mere weasel words and Abbott is no doubt hoping that you won’t be re-elected or that the ‘promise’ becomes otherwise redundant.
    If you are going to nail him down it needs to be much tighter than today’s statement.

  12. Roger Cameron

    March 12, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Is the key to this commitment the wording “in any government I lead” significant, and yes it applies to both Labor and Liberal

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