Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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HomeIssue 27Spending by Feds leaves NT behind

Spending by Feds leaves NT behind

Hi Erwin,

You may recall publishing a paper “The financial crisis in the Northern Territory” on 2 January 2019.

In the postscript I drew attention to the then Federal Treasurer’s abandonment of the tried and proven formula of the Commonwealth Grants Commission in distributing Goods and Services Taxation revenue on a needs adjusted basis.

The changes meant a massive win for WA, and an even bigger loss for the Northern Territory, basically because WA’s iron ore royalties dropped.

Now iron ore royalties have soared, and the Prime Minister has reportedly said this week that he has no intention of reversing his earlier decision.

So WA wins on GST, and now wins on royalties too. I don’t this sort of thing was in mind when the term win/win was coined. The NSW Treasurer has a dim view of this – please have a look at this link.

The NT, with its massive infrastructure backlog inherited from the Commonwealth on Self-Government, continues to struggle.

The way the Commonwealth allocates funds to projects like Sports Grants, Drive and Ride Carparks, and the Community Development Fund (all adversely reviewed by the Auditor General) destroys hope for the future.

Regards, Bob Beadman (pictured)


  1. GST division on the basis of need has discouraged self reliance, especially in the NT.
    Why generate your own money when more needs bring in more GST cash?
    In the long run need based allocation doesn’t provide a leg up.
    It perpetuates a lower standard of living and creates dependency on taxes.
    That is the view of the present Government.
    Why should WA keep its mining revenue and its share of the GST?
    Because it established itself as the no 1 mining jurisdiction in the world.
    The NT isn’t even on the list.
    Many stranded mineral deposits in NT would be mined in WA.
    The Feds are sending a clear message that we need to do a lot more than be needy and hold out our hands for cash.


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