"THE NEED FOR FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE"
"Every sandgroper in WA knows that the GST system is fundamentally broken insofar as our state is concerned.
For too long this broken system seeks to compensate mendicant backward states like Tasmania for turning their lonely island, to quote the twenty-ninth Premier, into a national park.
For too long, this broken system punishes WA for its success.
For too long, all members of this place have fought hard with little or no change within the Federation.
I have a message for my federal parliamentary colleagues this evening: Western Australians are sick and tired of the enshrined inequity that is the GST.
We are sick and tired of continuing to contribute so much to this nation and receiving so little in return. We are sick and tired of supporting a Federation that is culturally, societally and, importantly, financially predisposed towards supporting the eastern states.
Western Australians are fed up that for far too long we have operated within the bounds of procedures, agreements and convention. They do not care how they get it done; the people of this state want this issue resolved soon.
That is why, if Western Australia is to continue to be the great state that I know it to be, we need to exercise far more financial and intergovernmental independence than we currently do in order to force a change.
So long as this inequity continues, I urge this place to commence a responsible, considered and staged withdrawal of the majority of the intergovernmental agreements for which WA is a participant and move towards great financial independence. Where it can, where there is no negative impact to our national security or provision of vital services, the Western Australian government should start to rid itself of this cooperation with Canberra if the inequity continues.
These may seem like drastic measures but we are not elected here to uphold unfair agreements made in the meeting rooms of Parliament House in Canberra. We are here to listen and take action on behalf of those who elected us, and they are crying out for more action to be taken.
We must not continue to sacrifice our state’s future in order to provide even a greater future and greater fortune to states like South Australia and Tasmania.
This Parliament needs to do all it can to rally against the notion that WA should continue to lick the boot that kicks us.
For my part in this place here, I will do all I can to try to restore that equality or help move us closer to intergovernmental and financial independence."
- Zak Kirkup MP
Legislative Assembly, 16 May 2017