In a budget that claims to offer $70 billion for roads, rail, ports and airports across the country, and when WA’s GST share is at an all-time low, the Turnbull Government has not been able to find a single extra dollar for Western Australian projects.
Worse, Scott Morrison and Matthias Cormann have tried to re-badge the existing $1.2 billion Perth Freight Link funding – now being reallocated to Metronet and other projects – as somehow representing a win for WA. No new money is a very strange definition of a ‘win’.
Meanwhile the Government has committed billions of dollars to rail, and airport infrastructure projects in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.
At a time when WA is in the grip of a severe downturn, the Budget shows no reduction in unemployment in the next 12 months, and miniscule job growth after that. This only rubs salt into the wounds.
The only response from the Liberals is to task the Productivity Commission with examining the Horizontal Fiscal Equalisation system to push their WA GST rip off into the long grass.
With one hand the Liberals offer a measly one-off GST top up payment of $226 million, and with the other they cut over $500 million in Education and Health funding.
It highlights, yet again, how useless our state’s Federal Liberal MPs and Senators are, and how not one of them is ever prepared to stand up for Western Australia and put the needs of their state ahead of their Liberal mates in the eastern states.
This Budget adds insult to that injury, hitting Western Australians with higher taxes and cuts to schools, TAFE and universities, but offers them nothing in return.
As far as WA is concerned, this Budget is a con job. It is an insult to all Western Australians, and we will fight against it.