The West

O’Connor MP Tony Crook has voiced his disappointment at the findings of a review into the distribution of the GST.

The review, headed by Nick Griener and John Brumby, made its final report on the issue on Friday. The review recommends a number of “substantive improvements” to the current system of distributing the GST, known as Horizontal Fiscal Equalisation, but suggests no “radical changes”.

“We have also taken the time to examine the ‘myths’ about HFE and dispel a few that have been unproductive,” it says in the foreword to the final report.

“In our view, many of the concerns about HFE have turned out to be overstated, while others have reflected either the practical limitations of the system, or a matter of judgement about the result, rather than a proposition capable of technical proof.

“Still other concerns have, in the panel’s view, represented symptoms of the present economic times rather than problems with HFE per se.”

Mr Crook introduced a private member’s bill to introduce a minimum 75 per cent GST return for all States, but was defeated 114-2.

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