Western Australia continues to receive the lowest share of GST revenue, as a proportion of population share, of any State or Territory.
Your WA Members and Senators have been meeting regularly and working as a team with our Federal Ministers in Canberra to get a better deal for Western Australia in a difficult fiscal environment.
The Federal Government today announced an additional $490 million investment into Western Australian infrastructure in 2016-17, to ensure that Western Australia’s share of the GST is effectively maintained at its 2014-15 levels.
The decision to make this additional investment this year, follows a similar decision last year and fulfils a commitment to Western Australia then, to re-visit the impact of GST sharing arrangements on Western Australia, once the Commonwealth Grants Commission determination for 2016-17 had been made.
This investment aims to correct the fall in Western Australia’s share of the GST. Specifically, historically high iron ore prices continue to affect Western Australia’s GST relativity despite the recent fall in those prices. These lower commodity prices in more recent times have yet to be captured by the GST sharing arrangement formula.
Clearly, there is a long way to go to ensuring a more equitable distribution of revenue for Western Australia. I am strongly committed to working closely with my fellow WA Members and Senators in achieving the best we can do for our State within the economic constraints that we have to work within.
The Federal Government is committed to working with the Western Australian State Government to identify the most appropriate infrastructure project(s) for this additional federal investment.
For instance in 2015-16 the sum of $209.1 million was invested in the Mitchell Freeway extension from Burns Beach Road to Hester Avenue within the Moore electorate.
The Federal Government is committed to ensure that our investment helps to reduce congestion, improve safety and strengthen growth and job creation.
We are committed to ensure this investment helps Western Australia to successfully transition from resource investment driven growth to a stronger more diversified and innovative economy.
Western Australia has been the leading engine room of national growth for most of the past decade, attracting record investment into major resource projects of national significance.
Today Western Australia is on the frontline of our economic transition from resource investment and construction driven growth to broader drivers of growth.