CQ MP backs Hanson's GST plan to 'sell out' Queensland
On the verge of being sworn into Queensland Parliament next week, One Nation's MP for Mirani Stephen Andrew already has a big fire to put out.
This week, the Productivity Commission held a hearing in Brisbane to discuss the Turnbull Government's proposed changes to shrink Queensland's GST funding allocation.
Mr Andrew's party leader Pauline Hanson was accused by Labor of being complicit in the allowing Queensland to lose $1.5 billion in funding in a proposed reallocation of the GST funds to the states with the resultant cash shortfall expected to hammer regional Queensland electorates like his in Mirani.
Queensland Labor Senator Murray Watt said while the Queensland Labor Government argued fiercely against these changes at the hearing, Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party were "selling out Queensland" by backing the cuts.
He said this was another case of Pauline Hanson throwing Queensland under the bus.
"Given that Pauline Hanson's One Nation Party was founded in Queensland and Pauline Hanson was elected as a Senator for Queensland, you'd think she'd something to say about that," Senator Watt said.
"That's the equivalent of losing 5000 teachers, 5000 nurses, 3000 police offices and 1135 firefighters.
"But no. Instead, dead silence."
He said while Senator Hanson says that she stands up for regional Queensland, in reality these changes to the GST proposed by the Turnbull Government will hurt regional Queensland the most.
Senator Pauline Hanson said while she didn't like seeing Queensland suffer a loss in funding, she always believed in fairness across the country.
"There are many other states that should take a reduction in GST revenue before Queensland," Ms Hanson said.
"When the GST was first implemented in 2000, Western Australia received $0.98 cents in the dollar for GST generated in that state. At the same time Queensland received $1.02 for every dollar we generated.
"Eighteen years down the track, the state of Western Australia receives just $0.38 cents in the dollar, while some other states and territories have taken enormous increases at the expense of Western Australia."
She said during the last financial year, for every dollar their states generate in GST revenue the level of GST paid to states through the Governments Fiscal Equalisation Policy was: NSW $0.99, VIC $0.91, QLD $1.05, WA $0.38, SA $1.20, TAS $1.76, ACT $1.28, NT $5.28.
Mr Andrew said he wasn't about to play political wars between the Labor party instead opting to focus on the real facts regarding regional Queensland and a large portion of his electorate.
"[I] agree with Pauline Hanson on the matter of fairness across the country particularly that of Regional Queensland," Mr Andrew said.
He offered suggestions on how Queensland could make up for the potential $1.5 billion funding shortfall.
"[I] don't believe we should be cutting essential infrastructure projects or peoples jobs but looking at projects that have strong returns for economic growth, regional job creation and the betterment of Regional Queensland and Queensland as a whole with a strong focus on a bipartisan and collective approach to funding allocations into projects specific to each regional town/electorate," Mr Andrew said.
"[I'm] looking forward to speaking with Senator Hanson in regards to the issues on hand and formulate a strong plan for regional Queensland and Queensland as a whole."