Ben Wyatt will be busy sorting out the state’s finances. Photo: Attila Csaszar

GST first of many tests for Labor

OPINION: The McGowan government will need to get straight down to business, given the backlog of issues it needs to address.

The euphoria surrounding the swearing in of Mark McGowan’s state Labor government lasted just one week, thanks to Western Australia’s bete noir – the Commonwealth Grants Commission. And despite Labor’s thumping election victory, more shocks could be on the way.

The fact that the commission’s mysterious formula for reimbursement of GST revenue has set WA’s share at 34 cents for every dollar raised in the state (instead of the predicted 38 cents) is lesson number one for new Treasurer Ben Wyatt. You can’t allocate the money until it is in the bank.


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Poor McGowan, having to make the unpopular decisions to fix Barnett's out of control spending spree.

WA's NFPS debt is expected to be $36.6 billion by the end of the financial year. Nine years earlier, just before the Barnett Government came to office, that figure was just $4.96 billionBy June 30, WA's NFPS debt is expected to be the equivalent of 82.3 per cent of its revenue for the 2016-17 financial year. Tasmania, the state WA Premier Colin Barnett once volunteered to manage to show them how to run an economy, has the nation's lowest NFPS debt-to-revenue ratio at 27.1 per cent

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