Queensland dodges ‘costly One Nation sellout’
QUEENSLAND will reap $518 million in extra cash over the next eight years after the biggest GST reform in 20 years passed Parliament yesterday.
But One Nation's Pauline Hanson was accused of "selling out" Queensland as one of its Senators proposed an alternative plan which would see the state lose $1.2 billion next year.
The Senate passed with bipartisan support GST reforms which will see distribution of the revenue benchmarked to the performance of NSW or Victoria, whichever is higher, and a guarantee all states will receive at least 75c in the dollar.
The Federal Government will also top up GST payments to the states by up to $1 billion a year, which will deliver Queensland an extra $518 million in top-up payments by 2026-27.
But Labor Senator Murray Watt accused Senator Hanson her "greatest sell out yet", after One Nation Senator Peter Georgiou proposed a plan would see Queensland instead lose out on funds.
"I don't think you could even be a bigger sell out if the King Wally Lewis actually put on a blue NSW jersey," he said.
Senator Georgiou proposed a per capita distribution model, which would see Queensland lose $1.2 billion next year, while WA and NSW would each gain more than $3 billion, based on Productivity Commission modelling.
"Instead of trying to keep everyone happy, the government should announce that the distribution of GST will move to a per capita basis over a five-year time frame, for instance, and in the short term those states that lose out would be partly compensated," he said.
Senator Watt said Senators Hanson and Georgiou were trying to "take GST funding off Queensland".
"That's $1.2 billion less that Queensland would have to spend on hospitals, on schools, on roads, on all sorts of public services that Queenslanders depend upon," he said.
"Pauline Hanson has been conspicuously silent in this debate while her own colleague Peter Georgiou has been willing to get up and bash Queensland again over GST funding."
Senator Hanson declined to comment.
It's understood Senator Georgiou had not spoken to her about the speech and they have yet to sit down to discuss the party's position on GST going forward.