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A new tax on Western Australia.

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Thu, 25th September 2008 A NEW TAX ON WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Senator the Hon David Johnston Shadow Minister for Defence

Senator Mathias Cormann Senator for Western Australia

The tax on condensate, which passed the Senate today, amounts to a ‘drive-by shooting’ on Western Australians who will effectively be bailing out inept state administrations on the eastern seaboard.

Senator for Western Australia David Johnston spoke against the Excise Legislation Amendment (Condensate) Bill 2008 and said the Opposition would not support bad public policy.

Senator Johnston said Western Australia’s reputation in the area of sovereign risk had gone down the drain because of this new tax.

He said the state was competing against nations such as Qatar, whose cost structures are a fraction of ours, and up until today our biggest advantage has been our continuity and certainty of government policy.

“No corporation in Australia and probably in the world could endure $2.5 billion off the bottom line without passing it on in some form - gas prices for ordinary West Australians must rise because of Canberra’s tax grab.”

"This is one the greatest assaults on the living standards of Western Australians, I think, in the history of the federation."

Senator Mathias Cormann, who also spoke against the Bill in the Senate today, said it was wrong to say that Woodside had been exempt from paying excise on crude oil for 30 years.

“Crude oil production on the North West Shelf project has not been excise exempt and Treasury has never been able to substantiate the Treasurer’s assertion that Woodside has benefited from some kind of taxation advantage.” Senator Cormann said.

The Senators said they agreed with Woodside CEO Don Voelte, who said that governments had a responsibility to consult with industry on major issues such as this.

“The actions of the Rudd Government disclose all the morality of carpetbaggers and burglars.”