NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has once again likened WA Premier Mark McGowan to a fictional monster from Lord of the Rings, as the war of words over how much each state receives in GST continued on Friday.
Mr Perrottet referred to Mark McGowan as Gollum for the second day in a row, after he stepped in to defend Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.
Mr Andrews hit back at Mr McGowan after the WA leader took a swipe at his State’s Commonwealth Games spending despite complaining the State doesn’t have enough money.
“There’s Mark ‘McGollum’ on the other side of the country passing judgment on Dan Andrews and his financial management,” Mr Perrottet said.
“If you have a service-based economy when you have borders closed, when you’ve invested record amounts when you’ve had to make tough decisions on lockdowns and the like, that puts significant strain and pressures on your budget.”
There has been growing agitation from other States over WA’s 5.7 billion Budget surplus and GST carve-up.
Legislated by the Coalition in 2018, the deal ensures WA receives at least 70 cents for every dollar it contributes and is slated for a review for 2026/27.
The reignited debate on Friday comes as newly elected Prime Minister Anthony Albanese wouldn’t commit to making the State’s highest share of GST revenue a “forever deal” as his predecessor did.
In an exclusive interview with The West Australian, he had vowed to make frequent appearances in the State but wouldn’t confirm further intentions.
Mr Albanese did, however, say he wouldn’t be touching the GST deal before the next Federal election in 2025.
“From time-to-time, States will have different interests, and they’ll put them forward, and I respect that as well. That’s their task. My job is to implement what I said I would do and that was to provide that commitment, and we will stick by it,” he said.
WA Deputy Premier Roger Cook reminded Mr Albanese on Friday that the State “does the heavy lifting” and “shouldn’t be penalised” after his Federal colleague couldn’t commit to a forever deal on GST.
“All that Western Australia asked for is our fair share of GST,” Mr Cook said.
“No other state pays less than that about 95 cents in the dollar in terms of their GST. Quite frankly, 70 cents on the dollar.
“No other State relinquishes its amount of GST as much as Western Australia does.”
“It’s only Western Australia that does the heavy lifting when it comes to distribution of the GST. Western Australia contributes billions.
“We shouldn’t be penalised for the fact that we are doing what is responsible in terms of looking after the State’s finances.”
The senior WA Labor minister’s comments come as Liberal Senator Michaelia Cash said the State already felt “betrayed” and “duped” by their new PM.
She said it was proof Mr Albanese would be a “weak leader” and bad for WA.
“Western Australia has already been betrayed by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. He refuses to commit to making the State’s guaranteed share of GST a forever deal,” she said.
“We legislated in 2018 to ensure WA receives at least 70 cents in every dollar of GST and have promised this will be forever under the Coalition. Mr Albanese won’t guarantee anything beyond the next election.
“Everyone in WA who voted for Labor should feel cheated and duped today. Premier McGowan should be calling on Mr Albanese to make this commitment.
“Labor’s Federal MPs and Senators should hang their heads in shame today. They should demand their leader makes this guarantee to WA.
“Just wait for a carbon and mining tax to come onto his agenda.”