Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said that his plan to overhaul the carve-up of the GST has won back the trust and support of Western Australians.
The proposed overhaul would give WA billions in extra revenue that the state can spend on improving infrastructure and other public works.
Mr Turnbull made the remarks as he started a 3-day-long Perth tour – his first trip to the west since his Government announced its response to the falling GST share of Western Australia.
The new plan, which would begin to put more federal money into the GST pool and provide an increase in revenue for every state, would give WA an added $4.7 billion over the next 8 years.
The Government is now eager to secure the approval of all states in a meeting of state treasurers scheduled for September.
Before the GST announcement, there were worries within the Liberal ranks that the party would suffer at the polls in WA for failing to address an issue that as begrudged Western Australians for so long.
However, Mr Turnbull has said that the Government was now establishing a record of delivering results for Western Australia. He called on Western Australians to vote Liberal because they can “trust my government to deliver a fair deal”.
The trip by Turnbull is his first such excursion since the Liberal party’s controversial call not to contest the Perth and Fremantle by-elections, giving Labor two easy victories.
However, the Prime Minister defended the decision, calming that neither seat was winnable for the Liberals despite Labor only holding the seat in Perth by a margin of 3.3%.
He said that he knew the people of Perth were “interested in what the Government is doing for them” and that they weren’t really concerned with whether or not the Government was contesting a by-election “a couple of weeks back”.