After a century of bludging off the rest of the country, Western Australia finally has something to offer – and, through its cynical Liberal government, it is bloody well determined to keep it for itself. Screw the rest of the country:
ONE week after Wayne Swan proudly declared we would be “back in the black” by 2012-13 – with a projected $3 billion budget surplus – more than half the surplus has been stolen by the West Australian government.
By increasing the royalties on iron ore, the state government hopes to raise an extra $1.9bn over three years, punching a hole in the federal Treasurer’s all-important surplus target. It’s good for the Barnett Coalition government’s budget bottom line, but shocking for federal Labor’s.
And the only thing the rest of the country can do – adjust federal payments to WA to compensate – is apparently political poison for Labor:
This final option would guarantee that Western Australia was a political write-off for Labor. It could even cause the existing three federal Labor MPs in the state problems in retaining their seats at the next election.
And the state Labor Party might take aim at federal Labor, causing further political pain for Julia Gillard.
Actually, in a rational world, the rest of us throughout the country would be “taking aim” at the federal Liberals, who are standing by their WA state colleagues as they try to screw over the rest of us. Oh, so WA Liberals are going to win some extra seats and join their colleagues in the federal parliament, as a result of stuffing over voters in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia and the territories? And that’s something that doesn’t bother us?
Where are the media questions asking Tony Abbott if he supports his Liberal colleagues seizing a couple of billion dollars from the rest of us? Will the Liberals throughout the rest of the country stand against this outrageous action by WA, or will they giggle and take advantage of it at the expense of their own electorates?
Do the rest of us not care when Western Australia and the Liberals try to take us for a ride?