SCOTT Morrison could be forced to compromise on his GST fix after Labor leader Bill Shorten yesterday demanded “protections” for other States and Tasmanian Liberal senators were urged to cross the floor to block the legislation.
Mr Shorten told The Sunday Times Federal Labor was “absolutely committed to ensuring WA gets a fair deal on the GST”, but said the PM needed to “include protections to ensure this is a genuine national solution that delivers a fair share for WA, without leaving other States worse off”.
“Only a solution that satisfies all States will secure a lasting outcome for WA,” Mr Shorten said.
“That is why even the WA Treasurer (Ben Wyatt) supported a guarantee for the other States. We will continue to work through the legislation to achieve this outcome.”
In Parliament this week, Labor could push for amendments to the Morrison Government’s GST Bill. Another option is to attempt to refer the Bill to a senate committee for examination.
In another headache for the PM, Tasmania’s Liberal House of Assembly Speaker Sue Hickey has urged Liberal senators to cross the floor if the Treasury Laws Amendment Bill — due to be tabled in Parliament this week — costs the island State.
Tasmanians argue that under the legislation, which would see a 75¢ floor introduced, they could end up with significantly less GST than they would under the current system.
Under the changes, WA will receive an extra $4.7 billion in GST funds over eight years.
WA Premier Mark McGowan has urged his Federal Labor counterparts to back the legislation. Yesterday he said: “We’re confident a fair share of the GST for WA will be legislated. Both Federal Liberals and Federal Labor are committed to that.”
WA Liberal Senator Dean Smith warned there would “be a high political cost for Bill Shorten and WA Labor if at this 11th hour they choose to play political games with WA’s hard fought GST win”.
“It is self-evident that the GST plan benefits every State and it would be unnecessary for Liberal senators to reject the deal,” he said.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said Labor had been “found wanting” on GST, adding: “We have come up with a good, fair and equitable outcome.” Pauline Hanson urged One Nation’s WA Senator Peter Georgiou to “fight” for the State.