United states blow Cyclone Barnett back west

The natural disaster that is Colin Barnett has been blown back West by united states, from Dad’s Army:

Every state and territory — bar Western Australia — last night took the unprecedented step of signing a joint letter opposing a compromise on the distrib­ution of GST revenue, forcing the issue back on the Abbott government.

The letter to Joe Hockey, from all state and territory treasurers except Western Australia’s Mike Nahan, warns that a spec­ial deal would undermine the federation and be opposed by all Australians outside the west.

…The letter emerged as a brawl over West Australian Premier Colin Barnett’s linking of the GST carve-up row to his state’s support for Victoria and Queensland after bushfires and floods stoked interstate acrim­ony and left him isolated ahead of the leaders’ meeting.

This morning Category 5 Cyclone Barnett just can’t understand it:

“The Grants Commission served Australia well, but it was invented in the ’30s and probably belongs back there. I am not asking for any bailout or anything else, I’m just saying with iron ore prices having collapsed, Western Australia cannot continue to be paying $3.7 billion, in fact above that next year, to the other states,” he said.

“I was extremely disappointed, both that Liberal and Labor governments around Australia should gang up on one state government. I have never in my experience seen the other states and territories gang up against a single state. And we are the state that is funding them and largely funding the commonwealth budget, because of the strength of the mining industry over recent years.

Nobody “ganged up” on you, Cyclone, you swept into town and trashed everyone in sight for your own budget errors.

Hence you have blown any positive response into flying debris.


    • What’s with the persistent aggressive gloating towards WA? The commonwealth bureacracy forecasts and, subsequently,our commonwealth governement revenues were just as as wrong. We (collectively) were all sucked in.

      • Probably has a lot to do with the way WA behaved during boom times. You tend to get what you give.

      • It’s not WA per se, it’s that fucken idiot Barnett and his failure to grasp the simple fact he’s fucked up is what’s got everyone hot under the collar.

      • spotto Wingnut.
        IO price is still far above the long term average , it is still in windfall territory and Comrade is bleating.
        FFS. Also can Comrade tell us how all the extra productive capacity came to be? Who approved it?

      • As a South Australian, WA can go jump. Our state has been consistenly hammered for the last decade, largely because of massive appreciation of the AUD, while WA benefitted. Even better, WA actually received extra GST disbursement during those years. WA was making literallly $30,000 per capita in extra gross state product over SA during those years, all for the dumb luck of having iron ore at ground level (in SA, it’s under 200 metres of sandstone). And by dumb, I mean dumb.

        … and now that things aren’t going their way, So they’re whinging and bitching and moaning harder than anyone in federation ever has. Many of them are so self-entitled, and hate the nation so much, that they’ll drop the empty threat of secession at the drop of a hat.

        It’s pathetic, and it won’t work. WA has EVERY state and territory lining up against it now. Suck it, sandgropers. You’ve had your time in the sun. You should have saved more, and whined less when it became apparent that your 50 year boom was actually a 10 year boom.

    • HnH you should have the cover of today’s West as image for this article.

      We all know WA is being totally screwed: a GST return of less than 30c/$ is an unfair tax on very Western Australia citizen. If WA had population base same as Sydney or Melbourne, reform would already have been enacted – too many votes to ignore. even John Howard has said never was such a low return considered possible – but with methodology such as this – any stupidity may randomly erupt:

      “Tasmania will receive $729 per capita for its remoteness and regional costs and WA will receive $187 per capita. This must be some kind of sick joke.”

      And there’s more lunacy in redistribution methodologies. But that caught my eye – Perth, one the World’s most remote capital cities; Western Australia, a vast geographical entity with regional remoteness spanning thousands of kilometres.

      Draw a straight line from Canberra: which is more remote, Hobart or Perth…

      Obviously some bureaucrat failed Geography 101 and obviously based on the above, return to WA should be $729 per capita, Tasmania $187 per capita.

      • “Obviously some bureaucrat failed Geography 101 and obviously based on the above, return to WA should be $729 per capita, Tasmania $187 per capita.”

        What a bunch of utter bullshit. Mr ‘wrong about everything’, is, yet again, ‘wrong about everything’. Tassie is a tiny state, with few natural resources aside from beer and lumber. And you’re comparing their GST disbursement to a much larger state that had a MASSIVE resources windfall in the last decade.

        Face it 3D. You’re nothing but an entitled whiner trying to get your hands on everyone else’s money now that you’ve blown all your lotto winnings on jet skis and Maloo utes. WA made $30k per capita more than SA during the boom years. Where did it all go, 3D? Interested parties want to know.

  1. Listening to Barnett on RN and it’s a bizarre performance. Any evidence that this is working political magic in WA?

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      It’s betting on the fact that WA LNP voters will mix up their millions with their billions, so a few million shortfall in GST redistribution is responsible for a few billion dollars in deficit.. History have shown it actually works >_<.

  2. Talk up WA succession and that should get the AUD down to where it belongs (USD 0.60)

    • notsofastMEMBER

      WAEXIT. Should create something on a no news day.

      Out of all the possible choices for Australia’s Greece, Tasmania with its over abundance of Greens, South Australia or Victoria with the imminent loss of their car industries and possibly defence ship building and even Queensland with its enormous debt pile it is not surprising to find out that it is Western Australia with its Iron Ore industry in ruins and its arrogant leader that looks like taking an incontestable lead in taking that mantle. Well deserved.

      • Yup. SA has been copping it for about 15 to 20 years now. You know how many South Australians I’ve heard whining about secession? Zero! South Australians are Australians through and through. We generally accept that we’re somewhat poorer and less powerful, but that’s the deal for having nice beaches, a good lifestyle, and an (arguably, I’ll admit) stronger sense of community.

    • … except that nobody, except those who smoke multiple bongs of hydroponic skunk for breakfast, actually believe there is more than a one in a million chance of WA actually seceeding. Which is why the markets don’t, and will never, react to it.

    • Ha ha ha ha ha! You’re actually comparing the situation to a civil war that killed near a million people. Even better, you’re adopting it from the term ‘the war of Northern aggression’, which is uniquely adopted by racist psychopaths who are upset that other states dared tell their state that they couldn’t own people.

      The level of discourse from a number of Westralians on this forum is pretty sad; although you may perhaps be trolling, in which case people should disregard my comment. We shall see.

      Edit: although reading your comment, I suspect it’s tongue in cheek. If it’s not, please launch into an angry tirade about how WA is being hard-done-by 🙂

  3. When has a tax of 70% (WA transfers 70c in the dollar) against any economic unit, individual, company or state been successful? This is not suggesting that there is not a need to better distribute the gains from assets that should be common wealth like IO.

    • “When has a tax of 70% (WA transfers 70c in the dollar) against any economic unit, individual, company or state been successful?”

      The USA’s top marginal income tax rate was above 70% for around 30 years and its economy managed to grow quite well during that time.

    • Oh, for God’s sake, you act like this is permanent. It’s not. It’s the same system that gave you MORE money from GST in the earlier stages of the boom. Over that time, WA was making $30,000 per person per year in extra gross state product over South Australia. Surely you must have saved some of it to make it through 2 to 3 years of leaner times, right? If not, what did you bloody blow it on? Interested parties want to know.

    • I have a better solution. A national embargo on used jet skis, and V8 Land Cruiser troopies. That’ll teach them. Plus whatever else they blew their windfall on. I’m trying to work out what it was; perhaps some of the non-corrupt sandgropers around here can enlighten me.

      • Lord Dudley,
        Hospitals, roads and even a football stadium is where the money went. I am sure they exist east of the WA border?

      • [email protected] They sure do exist East of the WA border; in SA. Where the gross state product per capita was $30k lower than WA’s for about 8 years. SA isn’t lacking in those things. So again, I ask what did WA blow its money on? Because if they blew it all on hospitals and other critical infrastructure, they must have been gold-plating everything.

  4. By 2017 when the reality of the state finances may hit India will be quite capable of maintaining a protectorate over West Australia, their third aircraft carrier will enter service then.
    This is just the start of arguing over a shrinking pie, we have a long way to go.

  5. Western Australia does not belong in Australia anyway. It’s economy, time zone and proximity to Asia makes it much more an Asian place than what the rest of Australia is, a pacific nation. Colin should start by renaming his state “South Asia”.

    • I’m sure the Chinamen will be very decent to the state with 10% of the population of many of their cities, that has no military, and less support from allies such as the US. Nothing can go wrong with this plan; it was created by the very smartest Westralians.

  6. Your state bashing just earned you an unsubscribe.

    This whole situation with GST will resolve itself in a few years anyway. At which point some other states will start demanding the same.

    • Great comment Rocket. I don’t think the full implications of this have been thought through by those commenting and targeting WA. Yes, Barnett and Co have made mistakes. But in the 2-3 years time Victoria will want to have its s..t together as they are going to cop it in the neck. Other than the building of apartments and the “schooling” of foreigners what does actually keep Melbourne alive?

      • macrofishMEMBER

        Nothing, but sydney is the same.

        No one here is saying that the Eastern states are perfect and its all WA.

      • @ macrofish

        I will quote Houses and Holes
        “Other states to Colin Barnett: It’s your fault.”
        That is a pretty clear comment.

      • macrofishMEMBER

        It is his fault.

        Just like it will be Matthew Guys fault when melbourne goes tits up.

    • … at which point, they should be denied it, the same as WA. Although that won’t happen, as no-one has had such a massive boom as WA, and so no-one else stands to have the same kind of ‘more GST on the way up, less GST on the way down’ as WA.

      Don’t get me wrong; I think NSW and Vic’s economies are largely built on housing bullshit; but so is WA’s right now too. The correction will be nationwide when it happens, and it will impact all states.

      The reason WA earns such ire is because they apparently saved none of their windfall whatsoever, and were perfectly happy to take the extra GST on the way up, but now that the formula has reversed, they are screaming bloody murder.

      Couldn’t happen to a better group of entitled dirt scratchers, in my opinion.

  7. If WA got all the windfall from mining, how is it that the Federal budget is in tatters due to falling IO prices?
    Every state benefited ( if not directly, via the Fed ). WA was stuck with massive infrastructure spending to facilitate the income all the other states received. Sucked in big time.

    Where were all of the state premiers and Prime Ministers saying ‘ don’t do it Colin ‘?. More like cheerleading , ‘go for it, we need it’!

    Lesson to be learnt? If others are to benefit, make sure they take a share of the risk.


  8. ” forcing the issue back on the Abbott government.”
    I feel this is the major part of this issue that’s being ignored. and that is the total lack of leadership by abbot and hockey. Their, no decision, hands off approach so that don’t get seen as the “bad guy” is gutless. Regardless if you believe Colon is right or wrong on this the federal government is incompetent in its handling of it. Make a decision and back it up.

  9. Going to be funny watching the smart arses in Sydney and Melbourne change their tune once the Stamp Duty tide recedes.

    • george fripley

      Indeed, and it’s about time gambling revenue got added into the calculations for the sake of equity.

      The level of smug satisfaction at another state’s trouble smacks of an incredible level of insecurity among the detractors. We are, after all, a Federation of States and we get the politician’s we elect, but we don’t need to plumb the depths they sink to.

    • Ha ha ha ha ha! Good luck with that. Seriously, get organised, and give it a shot. I need a good laugh.

  10. kicking the goose that saved all our hides during the GFC is not just a reflection of the morons that pretend to run our states but of our escalation into oblivion …. a race to sewer ….

    • … if by ‘saved all of our hides’, you mean ‘killed every sector that would be needed to save us once the inevitable mining downturn occurred’, then you’re on the money.

      In the mean-time, WA isn’t getting a cent of money that they weren’t already entitled to under rules agreed to for many years. For the last decade, WA has had a gross state product over $30k per person per year higher than South Australia. What in HELL did you bloody sand gropers do with all that money? Interested parties want to know, because all of a sudden, you have become extremely shrill, demanding that everyone else give you free money. As far as I can tell, you blew the lot on hookers, blow, maloo utes, jet skis, and massively overpriced housing. You should take a note: don’t bloody do it again.

  11. Awwww, call the fuggin waaaaaaaaambulance for 3D1K. Yet again, he’s Mr ‘wrong about everything’.

    Waaah, waaah, EVERY SINGLE other state AND territory are ganging up on us! It’s NOT FAIR. And it’s Labor’s fault. And my leg hurts. And I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.


  12. Philly SlimMEMBER

    At one level I don’t really give a flying about WA.
    However getting 30% of the GST they raise is ridiculous.

    Vertical fiscal imbalance needs to be eliminated otherwise sooner or later it will be in some States interest to leave the Commonwealth.

    The Feds should take the money they need. Then the States should have income taxing powers. And their share of the GST needs to be fixed.

    If they need transfers (SA, Tas), well first try and fix up your State.

    • As far as I can tell, the ONLY state asking for transfers, based on rules that have been in place for many years, which they agreed to, is WA. And EVERY other state, and territory, is saying no.

      I think I know which state is the problem here, and it ain’t SA or Tassie.

  13. Some of the WA bashing is a bit distasteful, and needs to be put in the context of a situation that will only last a couple of years until the grants commission adjusts the distribution in accordence with the rolling average.

    Would be good for some of the discussion to move away from the fixation about the GST which has seemingly become the answer for all revenue problems in recent months. The states have their own revenue raising powers that for the most part they have mismanaged over past decades. This, combined with the huge cuts to various special purpose payments to the states have left many budgets in disarray and is the major grievance of the state premiers. WA has just managed to hijack this latest COAG get together with what amounts to a distraction. Ironic that a federalism white paper is currently being written in Canberra.

    Consider this the first stage of the Australian recession that we finally had to have. Squabbling pollies wont be able to spin their way out of this one.

    • Why Goodie? If you don’t like my posts, don’t read them. Or come up with a response with some actual content. I notice aside from one person, no Westralians have even attempted to answer my question about where the mining windfall actually went. Maybe you can have a crack at that instead of posting the lame content free dross that I’m currently responding to.

      • Alright i’ll give a crack LD. Too bad the name angryman was already taken hey? (and by a West Australian…the irony!)

        Here’s where the money went;
        Royalties for regions program (some good spending, some wasteful)
        Huge increased capital works spending (freeway widening, traffic upgrades, train line extensions etc) Perth’s traffic has been obscene in the last few years with the massive immigration influx. It used to take me an hour and half to drive to work each way in peak hour for what would normally be a 25 minute journey.
        New Hospitals to cater for increased population
        Pay rises for public sector workers such as teachers, nurses, firefighters, police etc.. so that they can at least afford to live in Perth. Try supporting a family on ~$1000 a week when you pay $600+ of it rent.
        Colin’s boondogle vanity project on the Perth waterfront.
        James Packers new billion dollar football stadium at Burswood.
        Probably a bunch of other small change items that slip through when your wallet is fat.

        And finally this;

        Perth became unlivable since about 2011 with the massively increased cost of everything (you wouldn’t get much change from a $20 ordering a beer in a lot of places) and the traffic situation was beyond ridiculous http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/traffic-mayhem-crippling-perth-says-states-governor-malcolm-mccusker/story-fnhocxo3-1226625140087

        I left, moved overseas, maybe i’ll move back in a few years when the place returns to normal.

        But finally i’ll say that carrying a vendetta against a group of people because their government is incompetent is bit childish wouldn’t you say. Do the yanks hang shit on you, assuming you support the moronic decisions made by Tony Abbott’s government because your an Aussie too?

      • Hey Lord (that has a ring doesn’t it),
        Despite MT’s efforts at figuring out where the money went, we are still wondering, as within his comments he means:

        – Money on roads: adding another lane on the freeway, in places, on land mostly already allocated and flattened. Take 2 years or so to do it. Oh yeah, ditto through our one and only tunnel.

        – Hospitals: granted, a few have appeared, but we’ll gold plate those. Or go bleeding edge (like the attempt at a paperless Fiona Stanley hospital) – plenty of bleeding resulting from those efforts. Some even literally.

        – The canal isn’t really that expensive in the scheme of things, and at least gets activity down to the river side, rather than running a road along it. Perth must be a world leader in running roads along prime river real estate I must add. Then in a masterstroke of stupidity, rather than take that road and continue it on underneath the inlet (it’s not a canal) to connect to the freeway and remove a few flow impeding traffic lights (if Perth isn’t a world wide leader in those, I’d hate to see the leader) – nope lets direct all that traffic that bypasses the main city area *into the city* – and reduce the lanes whilst at it. Already a too be avoided at all costs area. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

        – Again, the stadium isn’t that expensive in the scheme of things, and if you can imagine the MCG on the other side of the Yarra – similar concept. Without the heavy transportation links however. Sure, a station is being expanded alongside, and there is a freeway adjacent, but no car is going to be getting to park without going through another 2 or 3 sets of those Perth specialities – traffic lights. We love them so much we stick them on every single freeway on/ off ramp, and make it a right turn to boot. There may be something planned to eliminate this for the stadium, but the way the earthworks are shaping up – I very much doubt it.

        – Some money is going on removing the traffic lights on the main roadways around the airport – I felt like I was in shock when I heard Perth was removing traffic lights. Not about time, that area resembles Jakarta traffic at it’s very worst, but on a daily basis. Afterwards, that area will resemble the expanded Great Eastern Highway – light on traffic, despite previously resembling a parking lot.

        Apart from that, no idea what happened to the money. Though government agencies think they are unique in WA, so every new piece of software needs to be built from scratch, as they’re special. That can account for a fair bit. Office of Shared Services anyone?

        The above reduced traffic effect will be greatly enhanced by the trend of seemingly 1 in 3 commercial premises displaying for sale and for lease signs throughout West Perth plus the industrial areas of Welshpool and Kewdale (key logistics and mining warehouse areas FYI). Add on the effects of housing (near identical house next to me had to drop to 20% less rent than mine to get a tenant, one next to it seemed to have a late night move out episode on Saturday, hmmm) – and that’s in the last month, on top of around 20-30% reduction in rental prices in the 2nd half 2014, causing me to finally move.

        General living costs haven’t followed down as yet, nor house prices, though there seems to have been movement in the last few weeks on that front. A long way to go to restore sanity here. Over the boom time, my salary increased substantially year on year, but not to the extent of 45% (the house price rise in 2006) followed by another 20-25% rise the following year.

        Getting out would be good. Lots of people (including highly qualified professionals) certainly are, and people coming here in the last year are really running back to where they came from even faster. Seen and heard plenty of anecdotal evidence of this, hasn’t flown through to the numbers – yet.

        I’d like to go (hasn’t been for the want of trying, or hinting) but circumstances are going to result in me still being based here. That and a proposed destination country is doing equally stupid things as Perth. Melbourne and Sydney are better options for my skills, but then you walk into house and rental mania which makes Perth’s 45% rise seem sane.

        People are now talking like the 90s once more. “We need to develop new industries!” “We need to go hi-tech!” “We can’t rely on just digging stuff up!” Especially since mining is reverting to the crappy conditions present back then, that resulted in a stream of tiddlers converting to internet companies – remember *that* trend anyone? How did that work out?

        Unfortunately anyone with the hi-tech skills needed for this renaissance needs their head examined if they want to come to Perth, except if hanging out on the beach all day everyday is their only goal. Those who are here don’t number enough to do any of this. An association surrounding an in demand skillset in industry worldwide, especially online, is attracting the same 30 or so people each meeting, and taking turns presenting to each other. Nearly half the attendees are looking to sell to the other half, and those doing aren’t really looked upon as highly valuable by their employers. 10 times more jobs in this area in Sydney and Melbourne, exponentially more overseas.

        So I don’t know where these hi-tech skills to build new industries in Perth are going to come from. They certainly won’t be coming from the refugees from the mines – or housebuilders. Then again, once Sydney and Melbourne stop selling properties to each other and the overseas money tap is turned off, or even tightened a turn – I don’t really know what you will do over there either.