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Wednesday, 14 October 2015
Page: 7652

Senator FIFIELD (VictoriaManager of Government Business in the Senate, Minister for Communications, Minister for the Arts and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Government) (15:38): I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator FIFIELD: The government will not be opposing the motion put forward by Senator Wang. The government notes that it is already taking action to ensure the fairness and equity of the GST distribution to the states and territories. As part of this, the government continues to work with the state and territory governments around the distribution of GST revenue. The government continues to monitor the fairness of GST distribution and takes action to ameliorate inequitable outcomes when these arise. For example, the Commonwealth government provided Western Australia with funding of $499.1 million in the 2015-16 budget to assist with infrastructure projects given the fiscal difficulties faced by the state during the previous financial year. The government also notes the principle of horizontal fiscal equalisation is currently being considered as part of the Reform of Federation white paper process, which will see a thorough and detailed review of the existing framework for distribution of the GST.

Question agreed to.