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Monday, 25 June 2018
Page: 6291

Ms COLLINS (Franklin) (16:25): This week in Canberra a very important decision is going to be made—a decision about the GST and the way that it is carved up. The formula for the GST is critical to my home state of Tasmania. In Tasmania, GST revenue is 40 per cent of our state budget, or $2.4 billion every year. Tasmanians need this money for the health and education services that allow us to be on an equal footing with the rest of Australia. We are very concerned that this week in Canberra the federal government will make a decision to change the formula. We are very concerned that the Treasurer has asked the Productivity Commission for a transition plan. A transition plan can only mean one thing—that is, that the formula is going to change—and that will be very, very bad for Tasmania.

We have Saul Eslake, the economist, talking about his concerns for Tasmania. He says:

All the Prime Minister is ‘guaranteeing’ is that the dollar amount of GST revenue, which Tasmania will receive in future years, will not fall below the dollar amount it will receive in 2018-19.

He said that will actually mean:

… Tasmania’s share of the GST pie would fall from 3.7 per cent to 3.2 per cent …

He said that is equivalent to Tasmania getting '$367 million or 13 per cent less in 2021-22'. That is a huge impact on my home state of Tasmania. Tasmania should be very concerned about what this federal government is going to do in relation to GST. I know Tasmanians are worried about this. The federal government should come clean as soon as possible on what it is doing to Tasmania's GST.