The NSW Premier has vowed to continue a money beef with Western Australia, and says his state Treasurer will back him up.
Premier Dominic Perrottet, who has been in the job for just two days, has wasted no time in trashing WA Premier Mark McGowan over the distribution of GST revenue.
And Mr Perrottet said on Wednesday that Matt Kean, who has taken over as Treasurer, agrees with him.
“I know that Minister Kean, the new Treasurer, will be just as passionate on this issue as I am, because there is a lot at stake,” Mr Perrottet said.
It comes after Mr McGowan said his promotion to NSW Premier meant the GST debate was now a “clear and present danger to Western Australia”.
Mr Perrottet said Mr McGowan was right.
“Yes … because there‘s a deal that WA were able to arrange with the federal government last August, that prejudiced every other state and territory in the country,” the NSW leader said.
“The reality is we want a situation where NSW receives its fair share of GST.
“I’ve argued that we should have a less-than-per-capita share, because we have a duty and responsibility as the strongest state, and the best state in the country, to support smaller jurisdictions. I’ve always accepted that point.
“What I won‘t accept is WA, who in the height of a mining boom wasted their surpluses. When they were in deficit … they come crying poor to the federal government for a bailout.”
Mr Perrottet said the issue would “continue to be a regular discussion point” with the Prime Minister as well.
The WA Premier has accused the NSW government of “whinging” and of being “very poor financial managers”.
“They managed Covid very badly, and can see the consequences … And so instead of looking in the mirror, they look west to blame us for this situation,” Mr McGowan said.
Mr McGowan claimed his state’s booming economy was propping up the Commonwealth government’s financial Covid-19 relief to other states that had been hard hit by the virus.
Mr Perrottet, who previously referred to Mr McGowan as “the Gollum of Australian politics” in an interview about GST revenue, wrote in the most recent budget passed while he was Treasurer that the allocation of the money was “inequitable and unfair to other states”.
In 2018, the Morrison government introduced a floor of 75 cents per person per dollar of GST to ensure no state would be “worse off” under the system, after WA’s share of GST fell to almost 30 cents per person per dollar after a mining boom.
WA’s record budget surplus has deepened a rift with other states after NSW and Victoria lashed WA’s special deal with the federal government to extract GST compensation payments.
Mr Kean could not be reached for a comment.
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