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Hodgman betrays Tasmanians by accepting GST plan without detail

  • Premier has no idea how much GST Tasmania will receive in year one
  • Liberal GST plan “boils the frog”
  • Morrison’s plan puts Western Australia first, not Tasmania.

Shadow Treasurer Scott Bacon today called out Premier Will Hodgman’s betrayal of Tasmania in blindly accepting a new GST model without knowing any of the detail.

“The Premier was asked multiple times how much GST Tasmania would receive in the first year of the new deal – he didn’t know,” Mr Bacon said.

“If he can’t say how much Tasmania will receive in 2021-22 how does he know it will be a good deal for Tasmania in 10 or 20 years’ time?

“All he knows is the talking points Scott Morrison gave him.

“The Labor and Liberal Parties have always been on a unity ticket when it comes to opposing any change to the GST.  Every Premier and Opposition Leader in Tasmanian history has supported and backed the basic principles of full equalisation – the idea that Tasmanians deserve the same level of services as the bigger states and territories.

“Will Hodgman is the first Premier in Tasmanian history to walk away from the principles of fairness and equalisation.  He has betrayed Tasmania because his Liberal colleagues have told him to.”

In his representations to the Productivity Commission only a few months ago, Treasurer Gutwein railed against exactly this kind of deal, saying:

“With the transition part what you’re talking about is the boiling frog. …what you will simply do is entrench the relative disadvantage and the difference between ourselves and the larger states. That’s simply not fair. That’s simply not reasonable. That’s why from the point of view of the state we don’t want to discuss and we will fight a transition path on any terms, because it simply entrenches that relative disadvantage. It just takes a little longer to do it.”

“Tasmania’s share of the total GST pool will decline.  The ability of the Tasmanian government to fund essential services into the future will be solely reliant on the government of the day providing top up payments to the GST pool,” Mr Bacon said.

“What conditions will be attached to the funding? The Federal Treasurer is on the record saying states should lift their bans on fracking in return for GST payments.

“What guarantees are there that future Commonwealth Governments won’t cut top-up funding?

“Let’s be clear – this deal puts Western Australia first and Tasmania comes off second best. No Tasmanian should accept that.”