Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi’s motion to level the GST playing field has been knocked back in the senate this week with the Coalition, Labor and the Greens all voting against it.
Massive inequities exist in the complex GST arrangements with the states and territories.
The Northern Territory currently has a population of only around 200,000 people yet it received $2.9 billion in the last GST distribution.
Western Australia has a population of approximately 2.7 million people and only received a $2.4 billion distribution.
New South Wales has a population of around 7.9 million people and a distribution of $17.7 billion.
Senator Bernardi’s motion called on the Minister for Finance to direct the Productivity Commission to conduct a full cost-benefit analysis of Northern Territory’s present self-governance model and determine whether the Commonwealth needs to directly intervene to rapidly improve the Northern Territory’s drag on national productivity.
Only four Senators supported the motion. Western Australian Senator Peter Georgiou was one of them saying:
“This motion argues that the northern territory is a drain on national productivity. Right now Western Australia gets just 34 cents in every dollar for its GST share. In the Northern Territory the GST share is $4.66 – how does this work? So in other words every person in the NT receives $12,000 compared to just $882 for every person in WA. Tasmanians get $4,600 per head, South Australians $3,600 per head and Victorians $2,389 per head – as confirmed by the parliamentary library. In 2016-17 Western Australia accounted for 35% of the nation’s exports. The NT accounted for just 1.6%. WA is by far the country’s leading state on a balance of payments basis. The government must now release the productivity commission report on the GST and implement its recommendations”.
Picture: Northern Territory Parliament
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