GST reform has been a priority of mine and fellow WA Parliamentary colleagues for some time.
Thankfully, this Government recognised that the current GST distribution system is not working, with WA recently receiving just 30 cents in the dollar, while other states and territories with far smaller populations received more.
That’s why its exciting that our demands have been heard and the Federal Government has passed legislation through Parliament to change the system.
Every state and territory will be better off under the new legislation that will deliver a new, fairer and more sustainable distribution of the GST.
Delivering a fairer and more sustainable GST distribution system is part of our plan for a stronger economy, helping to deliver the essential services we rely on.
Our reforms will deliver an additional $9 billion in extra untied funding to the states and territories over 10 years and an additional $1 billion in perpetuity once fully implemented.
The Legislation will also provide a guarantee that every state and territory will be better off.
Under the new changes, a new equalisation benchmark will be created over the six years from 2021-22 to 2026-27.
We will also introduce a permanent in-system relativity floor of 0.7 from 2022-23, increasing to 0.75 from 2024-25.
In the interim, the Federal Government will separately provide short-term top-ups to WA to keep our relativity above 0.7 per cent.
On current projections, those top ups will amount to about $1.5 billion over the next three years with which to repair their budget and fund essential services including hospitals, roads and police.
The GST top ups will be in the hands of the State Government so I’ll be working with my State Government colleagues to prioritise funding opportunities and ensure projects around O’Connor are front and centre in the minds of the decision makers.