SENATOR THE HON PENNY WONG

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

LABOR SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

SENATOR CAROL BROWN

SHADOW MINISTER FOR DISABILITY AND CARERS

SENATOR FOR TASMANIA

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

5 February 2018

CORMANN CONFIRMS SOUTH AUSTRALIAN AND TASMANIAN SERVICES UNDER THREAT ONCE ELECTIONS ARE OVER

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has today confirmed the Turnbull Government is seriously considering massive cuts to GST distribution for South Australia and Tasmania – but will be keeping its decision secret until after voters in both states have gone to the polls.

Treasurer Scott Morrison used the cover of the Summer break to announce that the Turnbull Government had extended the deadline for the Productivity Commission Inquiry’s report into the Economic Impact of Horizontal Fiscal Equalisation from January to the 15th of May – ensuring the report was delayed until after the South Australian and Tasmanian State elections.

Asked today about the Productivity Commission’s interim report which proposes cuts to the distribution of GST revenue of $557 million to South Australia and $168 million to Tasmania, Senator Cormann refused to rule out the cuts instead saying he would “provide a response in due course”.

It’s clear that South Australia and Tasmania will never be safe under the Liberals, and the Turnbull Government isn’t prepared to level with people in either state before they vote next month.

Any raid on the GST revenue to South Australia or Tasmania would hit families and the schools, hospitals and other vital services they rely on.

Voters in both states deserve to be told the truth before they vote next month so they can make an informed choice about which party is best prepared to lead their state, and stand up to the Liberals in Canberra to protect their vital services.