Libs in party room stoush over GST
Christian Porter, raised WA's GST concerns but was rebuked by Federal Treasurer.

WA Liberal Christian Porter has tackled Joe Hockey over WA's diminishing GST share, only to spark an angry rebuke from the Federal Treasurer and a bit of free advice from the Prime Minister.

Mr Porter, the former State treasurer, told the joint party room meeting today that WA was not getting its fair share of GST.

He said WA Liberal parliamentarians would not only start to speak up more about the GST distribution issue but make a submission to the Government's White Paper on tax reform.

But Mr Porter was slapped down by Mr Hockey who, according to observers, was visibly cross.

Mr Hockey accused the Barnett Government of poor budget management, citing its poor record on privatisation.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop intervened at this point, saying, "Don't go there, Joe".

Tony Abbott then stood up and said he enjoyed a good working relationship with the WA Government.

The PM said he had some sympathy for WA concerns about its GST share but said he also understood the position of Tasmania, South Australia and the Northern Territory, adding the issue was a "complex one".

He said he didn't think it was a good idea for WA Liberals to put in a submission on the issue, saying that as federal parliamentarians "we represent the nation interest".

Premier Colin Barnett’s office referred questions to his comments on the GST made last week.

"This (the GST) is the most significant issue for this State. People are entitled to be angry, as I am," he told the ABC's 7.30 WA program.

"I'm pleased, at last, some federal members of Parliament from WA are standing up and speaking out. They should all be doing it, and they should have been doing it for a long time."

The West Australian

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