Western Australia

Sep 4, 2017

WAxit might be laughable, but the implications for Turnbull are no joke

The establishment of a party committee to consider ways to pursue "financial independence" is obviously not to be taken seriously. However, WA's GST complaints should be.

William Bowe — Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe

Editor of The Poll Bludger

WA Opposition Leader Mike Nahan

If nothing else, yesterday's "WAxit" motion at the Western Australian Liberal Party's state conference succeeded in garnering an outsized share of news space on a quiet Sunday.

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11 thoughts on “WAxit might be laughable, but the implications for Turnbull are no joke

  1. John Hall

    Are you talking about WA coming or going? Seriously, going would make a nice dent in our Defence Budget. We would miss a bit of the resources but the rest of the world is getting better at using less of it. If they really want to secede let them. If there was another mining boom they could bring in a version of 400 visas and bring in all the slaves they want, like we do now.

  2. lykurgus

    Victoria’s been a net-contributor to the GST bucket from literally day one (despite a manufacturing-reliant economy), and nobody gave two shits (because we weren’t alone). WA was a big fan of the two-speed economy in those days, because they were on the good end.
    The social-equity factor (it’s paid out inversely to service-providing capabilities, and is used for other grants, not just GST) subsidised WA for billions over the decades, that would’ve been paid to NSW or Vic under the model the sandgropers want now.
    Then they saw iron go up on the jetpack, and thought it would come down by the stairs.
    And now Aesops grasshopper comes knocking on the ants door, wanting some of his.

    Secede, you b*stards – f*cking SECEDE already!!!

    1. Ian Brown

      You conveniently forgot to mention that WA (along with other non manufacturing-reliant states) subsidised the uneconomic Victorian industries from day one via high protective tariffs.

    2. Rex Bevan

      Australia was a protectionist economy from Federation until the mid 70s when the Whitlam Government finally did something about it. The protection racket was organized precisely to benefit manufacturers based in Sydney and Melbourne and was enormously costly to the WA and Queensland economies which were exporters of minerals and agricultural products to world markets. Anything that WA got back via Federal grants in this period was a drop in the ocean so to talk of WA rorting the “system” is arrant nonsense, which is precisely what Lykurgus is spouting!

      Rex Bevan

  3. Dog's Breakfast

    Shorten can afford to promise better gst returns to WA, as the formula follows rules based on aggregate state incomes, which have fallen for WA with drops in the price of commodities and due to the nature of the formulae means that it always lags by 2-3 years.

    As their state incomes have dropped, they will get an improved share of gst in coming years.

    Remember that this problem was entirely internal to the state, having been spending up big while the royalties and state taxes came in, but not holding any back for the rainy day that reduced gst revenues was inevitably going to bring. State Liberals created this.

    Good luck WA, Vic and NSW have never got their share of GST and probably never will. Welcome to our world. Not a problem if you decide to leave.

    1. Phen

      If Victoria or NSW ever got anywhere near as low a GST share as WA has for years on end all hell would break loose and the broken system would be fixed quicksmart. WA’s relatively low % of the country’s population is the only way the feds get to look the other way and plead powerless.

  4. DavidH

    The concept of a WA share of GST revenue is somewhat flawed.
    GST revenue is not calculated for any state – the total is attributed to each state based on population.
    However, practically all WA GST revenue is refunded to exporters – basically all GST paid in any part of the supply chain for extraction industries.
    In net terms WA does not contribute any GST revenue.

    1. DavidH

      Let me be more direct: All GST from WA (plus more) is handed to the mining and energy companies as cash transfer. This is a balance sheet item so it has no tax implications for these companies.

  5. pinkocommierat

    It’s already a different country so let them secede and have Gina, Jules, Pete Abetz and the Belgian waffle all to themselves.

  6. AR

    I’d be more than happy to sever, or at least put a bogan proof fence across the Nullabor highway (nods to Gruen Report) and blow up the rail link which was WA’s price for joining Federation.

  7. Graham R

    WA’s problem is mathematical: with just 10% of Australia’s population it is never going to be dealt with fairly.

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