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Fighting for a Fair Share for WA



  • WA will receive only 47.3% of its population share of national GST revenue in 2018-19 – no other State has ever received below 83.4%
  • Over the thirty years to 2016-17, WA has contributed a net $230 billion to the Federation
  • Commonwealth per-capita funding for healthcare is $277 below the national average
  • WA is penalised for its higher investment in schools than other States
  • The Commonwealth fails to properly recognise the cost of remoteness for health and skills training
  • The State will fight to continue Commonwealth funding for remote housing

The McGowan Labor Government is continuing to push for reform of the GST distribution to address the State’s low GST share. From 2017-18 to 2021-22, WA will lose about $16.7 billion in GST revenue to other States through the Commonwealth Grants Commission process.

Western Australians heavily subsidise the Federation, contributing far more in Commonwealth tax revenue than the Commonwealth spends in this State; $16.5 billion more in 2016-17 alone, and $230 billion more over the past thirty years.

Yet 70-80% of royalties from our expanding lithium industry will be redistributed to other States through an associated reduction in our GST.


Commonwealth healthcare funding in WA is well below the national average:

  • Healthcare funding for WA was $277 per person below the national average in 2015‑16.
  • Commonwealth Medicare funding in Western Australia is 22% below the national average.
  • State hospitals have increased demand as the number of GPs is 18% below the national average.
  • WA receives only 63 aged care beds per 1,000 elderly, compared to the national average of 75.
  • Unavoidable costs for remote hospital services in WA are not adequately captured.
Healthcare Funding chart


The Commonwealth also fails to properly recognise the cost of providing vocational training in regional and remote areas. Each year, an additional $45 million is required over and above metropolitan delivery costs.

Additional costs for regional vocational training delivery in Western Australia chart


WA is also penalised by Commonwealth funding levels that reflect the State’s high levels of investment in education and its delivery of preschool primarily in government schools rather than Long Day Care centres.

  • Commonwealth preschool funding rules mean that children who attend preschool at a long day care (LDC) centre attract two sources of funding: child care subsidies as well as Universal Access (UA). Children who attend preschool at a school attract only the UA funding. Nearly all WA children attend preschool at school - WA misses out on this double-subsidy for those children.
  • The Commonwealth’s per-child annual contribution to preschool in Queensland and New South Wales is estimated to be over $5,000 compared with only $1,237 in WA.
Preschool Funding chart


The Commonwealth has so far failed to extend the National Partnership on Remote Housing. This will reduce WA’s funding by about $100 million each year and follows the Commonwealth’s previous withdrawal of investment in essential and municipal services in the State’s remote communities in 2015.


By fighting for a fair share for WA, the McGowan Labor Government has secured additional Commonwealth infrastructure funding in this Budget, including:

  • $189 million for hospital infrastructure;
  • $1.052 billion of new funding for METRONET, including $729 million in the current forward estimates period;
  • $625 million for road projects; and
  • $140 million for water infrastructure.

The McGowan Labor Government will continue to fight for a fair go for WA, including a fairer GST share.