Pearce northern suburbs win big from GST road infrastructure

The northern suburbs of Pearce are set to be major beneficiaries of the $499 million road infrastructure grant announced by the Coalition Government today to address Western Australia’s falling share of GST revenue.

The Federal Member for Pearce Christian Porter today said: “For five years in both State and Federal politics I have fought to have a Prime Minister help Western Australians by stopping the decline in WA’s share of GST and Tony Abbott is the first Australian Prime Minister that has actually acted to compensate WA for its unfair share of the GST.”

Mr Porter said that from a total $499 million package, the Coalition would provide more than $209 million toward the Mitchell Freeway extension from Burns Beach Road to Hester Avenue.

“Without this Coalition grant, WA’s GST share would fall below 30 cents in every dollar we pay, when no other state or territory in the history of the GST has had their share fall below 81 cents.

“The unsustainable and broken system being maintained by the Commonwealth Grants Commission was only going to be remedied by decisive leadership from the Coalition Prime Minister.”

“The Coalition grant shows the Prime Minister’s leadership in responding to the strong advocacy to address WA’s share of GST from the Federal Finance Minister, Mathias Cormann, Federal Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and all Western Australian Members of Federal Parliament.”

Mr Porter said the Prime Minister’s decisive action had produced an outcome designed to compensate WA in a way that reflects a nominal freeze in the decline of WA’s GST at the 2014/15 floor of 37 cents in the dollar.

“In 2011 the former Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced a review into the distribution of the GST that she promised would ‘lead to a simpler, fairer, more predictable and more efficient distribution of the GST’,” he said. “The result of that review was complete inaction from both Ms Gillard and Mr Rudd.

“This $499 million road infrastructure grant from the Prime Minister is the first time there has been any action from any Prime Minister on this issue and while it is not a final result it is an incredibly significant outcome and recognition that WA needs help to deal with the extreme situation produced by the Commonwealth Grants Commission’s refusal to amend its distribution formula.”

“As one of the WA Liberals pushing so hard for something to be done on GST, it is especially pleasing to see that not only will all Western Australians benefit from easing pressure on the WA State Budget, but also that big amounts of the grant compensation are going to important projects so desperately needed by the people of the Pearce electorate.”

Mr Porter said the freeway extension to Hester Avenue was expected to be completed in mid-2017.

“This is a major investment for families and businesses in the northern suburbs of Pearce and will significantly reduce times people spend travelling to and from work and ease congestion in peak periods along the increasingly busy Marmion Avenue,” he said.