No substitute for GST

Senate hopeful Subiaco Councillor Julie Matheson said the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced a multimillion-dollar infrastructure investment package for WA after saying he won’t throw a “fistful of dollars” at voters.

Running as an independent Senate Candidate Julie Matheson said the package should not be a substitute for WA’s low GST share.

“It will come with conditions which WA doesn’t have the finances to match,” Ms Matheson said.

“The Premier acknowledges Western Australia’s finances are in a “mess” ” she said.

“WA is already suffering from a $3billion budget deficit; a forecast debt of $39 billion; and the transfer of State Government costs to ratepayers of local government.”

Mr Turnbull has earmarked $490million for WA infrastructure to ensure the state would receive a reasonable share of the GST.

He also said the May budget would be about “prudence, fairness and responsibility to our future generations”.

Mr Turnbull said it was about ensuring WA was given a fair deal.

He said the “net consequence” was about ensuring the West was not worse off than it would have been, because of the allocation of the GST.

“WA has had a very raw deal. Everyone understands that. What we are doing is ensuring, as we did last year, that there is a balance brought back into it,” he said.

Ms Matheson said that Victoria had managed to secure $1.5Billion in funding from Mr Turnbull.

“It begs the question what have the WA federal parliamentarians achieved?”.

“A 3.4 per cent share of the GST up 0.1 per cent plus some grants funding if the Federal Government like what we spend it on is not enough,” she said.

“WA needs better representation in the Senate. That’s why I’m standing as an Independent with no party loyalties.”

The funding was designed to reduce congestion and improve safety, according to the PM.

Ms Matheson said she was concerned that extra money would not come, without a restricting caveat for the state.

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