Tasmania's GST under threat - Take note of answers Speech
Wednesday 12 September
The revelation today of a clear disagreement between the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, during his time as Treasurer, and the Tasmanian Treasurer, Peter Gutwein, over the dud GST deal for Tasmania has once again exposed the out-of-control divisions within the Liberal Party. We all saw that on display only a fortnight ago, but now, through a leak, we have again seen an incredible division between the Tasmanian Liberals at the state level and this new Prime Minister and the federal Liberals.
What does this mean for the future of Tasmania? What does it mean when we have a Tasmanian government that does not get along with its federal counterparts and, in fact, when it does not get along with this Prime Minister? There are real concerns now about what this whole affair means for a number of Tasmania's vital services. What does it mean for the City Deal, what does it mean for Macquarie Point, what does it mean for essential services like our health and hospital crisis when we have a Prime Minister who has shown such contempt for Tasmania? All Tasmanians today would have woken up incredibly worried by the fact that we have, as leaked in TheMercury, a Prime Minister who has shown his complete contempt.
If this dud deal that the state Liberals rolled over for was not bad enough, it's now clear we have a Prime Minister who does not care about Tasmania as a state. To allegedly refer to our state as 'mendicant' is just absolutely abhorrent. We all know that this refers to a telephone call that occurred between the now Prime Minister and the state Treasurer, Peter Gutwein. Prime Minister Morrison, who was then Treasurer, indicated that Tasmanians are, in effect, beggars—that we are, in effect, beggars. It is absolutely abhorrent for the Prime Minister of this country to refer to Tasmania as beggars. It tells us what this Prime Minister thinks of us, what he thinks of Tasmanians, behind closed doors.
We know what he thinks of Tasmanians, because he has been to Tasmania only four times in the past 10 years, and one of those times was during the recent Braddon by-election—once in this term of government and in his time as Treasurer. I think that says it all. For the Prime Minister to refer to Tasmanians as beggars is deeply offensive. It also proves exactly what has always been suspected, which is that this GST deal was designed for Western Australia at the expense of Tasmania. No Tasmanian has ever been fooled by that. It has been a dud deal since day one; it has been a dud deal since then. But then again 'how dud?' we don't know, because the Treasurer of Tasmania himself has said that he has taken it on face value. He has taken this deal on face value—a deal that has an effect on Tasmania's bottom line, Tasmania's budget, and how we deliver our services. He said months ago that he still hadn't seen the detail.
There goes the relationship. That shows you how close the relationship is between the Tasmanian Treasurer and the then federal Treasurer, now Prime Minister. It does not bode well for the future of Tasmania under this state Liberal government, and it does not bode well for the future of Tasmania under this federal coalition government under Scott Morrison. The sooner there is an election in this country, the better. And the sooner we vote this joke of a government out of this country, the better—so that states like Tasmania can get a decent government that cares about all Australians, including Tasmanians; so that Tasmanians do get their fair share of the GST; so that we can be respected; and so that we can deliver the services that Tasmanians expect. The title 'beggar' used by this Prime Minister is absolutely offensive.