Tricky Labor Is Caught Out Again

Michael Ferguson, Treasurer

Federal Labor MHR Brian Mitchell is either misinformed or deliberately deceiving Tasmanians in a desperate attempt to deflect from his Government’s appalling decision.

Mr Mitchell claimed that the Tasmanian Government received a response to our request for a GST exemption for the Macquarie Point Urban Precinct project in October last year.

He is wrong. This is a Labor lie.

What he may be referring to was not a letter from the Australian Treasurer, Dr Jim Chalmers, responding to the two letters I had previously sent – but an email at officials level consulting on the draft Terms of Reference for the Commonwealth Grants Commission’s (CGC) 2024 Update of GST relativities.

The CGC’s annual assessment analyses revenue and expenditure by states in the previous three financial years. The Federal funding for Macquarie Point does not begin to flow until 2025-26, and is therefore not relevant to the 2024 Update.

This is a distraction.

Mr Mitchell said today that the GST distribution was “very, very complex” – he’s right and he clearly doesn’t understand how it works, and is embarrassingly referring to the wrong year’s Terms of Reference!

Mr Mitchell can tell Tasmanians “there’s nothing to see here folks” all he likes – but it’s plain to see that Tasmanians have been dudded – the Federal Labor government is dudding the very Tasmanian’s Mr Mitchell should be representing.

The simple fact is that Dr Chalmers can choose to make this right at any time before the 2027 Update – he just has to send us a simple letter saying so. There is no “deadline” to be missed except perhaps the 2027 update.

What will it take for Federal Labor MPs and Senators to get on the same page as the Liberals, JLN, Green and Independent MPs and Senators?

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