NT coffers are MT

December 15, 2018

The Northern Territory government's decision to lift its moratorium on gas exploration makes more sense now the ABC reports that the NT is in financial crisis, with no immediate plan for fixing the deep fiscal problems.

Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi’s motion to expose the NT's GST gouge was rejected by the Senate in June this year with the Coalition, Labor and the Greens all voting against it. Three months later in September, the NT made a welcome decision to open up its gas reserves.

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.

Treasurer Nicole Manison will fly to Canberra for emergency meetings with Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg next week.

Treasury officials say the NT Government is currently borrowing to cover day-to-day operational costs such as public servants' wages and to cover interest on previous borrowings, which they say has led to a budget in "structural deficit".

The Territory's net debt has escalated from $1.7 billion in 2016 — when Labor was elected — to around $3 billion this year.

In 2018-19, the Territory is forecast to spend over $1.5 billion, or $4 million a day more than the revenue it collects and is borrowing to meet the shortfall.

The Territory can't afford to lock up its reserves any more or pander to socialist policy positions.

Nor does it deserve a legislature which redefines gender, if the government can't stay in the black.

And they want statehood!

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