Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has continued to flaunt his GST reform success in Perth, telling the Liberal party faithful he has delivered on a promise made two years earlier.
Mr Turnbull received a standing ovation before he even began his 20-minute speech at the Liberal state conference at Crown Perth on Saturday.
“Two years ago, I stood here and I addressed you all just weeks after the last general election and I acknowledged that Western Australia was not getting a fair deal on the GST,” he said.
“I said that fixing the problem would not be without political difficulty, but I committed to delivering a long-term reform of the GST that would be fair to Western Australia and all states, and I’ve delivered on that promise.”
Planned changes to the tax formula would ensure WA receives no less than 75 cents per person for every dollar of GST raised in the state.
Mr Turnbull said it recognised every Australian deserved the same standard of government services.
“(It will) ensure that no state or territory will ever again suffer Western Australia’s fate.”
Taking a swipe at Labor, Mr Turnbull said leader Bill Shorten had no plan of his own.
“We have delivered a fair deal for Western Australia on the GST, as we said we would, and the greatest threat to that fair deal would be a Labor government.”
The prime minister said it had taken five years for the Coalition to bring the budget back into balance.
“Turning around the structural problems we inherited from Labor has been hard, deliberate work, like turning around an aircraft carrier … but we are now starting to see the results – a stronger economy, more jobs and starting to pay off Labor’s debt.”
Mr Turnbull said Australia would go backwards under Labor with their reckless spending, anti-business policies, higher taxes and crippling debt.
His only funding announcement in the speech was $19.5 million through the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund for upgrades to the Pippingarra Road to assist the Pilbara Minerals lithium project.
The speech wrapped up Mr Turnbull’s three-day visit to Perth, which included touring a small business in the seat of Swan alongside MP Steve Irons, and the site of the $1.02 billion NorthLink project in the seat of Pearce with Attorney-General Christian Porter.