IS ScoMo a “bastard” for cutting the Territory’s GST funding?

The NT News’ front page on Saturday is a vintage piece of Murdoch tabloid journalism – aggressively funny but without any meaningful regard for fact or fairness. Of course portraying any politicians as “bastards” is bound to meet with general public approval, especially when Messrs Turnbull, Morrison and Scullion are identified as the culprits who just unfairly robbed the Territory of $2 billion over the next four years. Moreover, the journos who write this stuff might even believe it; after all quite a few usually thoughtful local pundits have made similar noises.

The truth is that the national system for distributing GST revenue between the states and territories IS badly broken, but the decisions aren’t in a practical sense made by the federal government politicians so they aren’t “bastards” at least for that reason. More importantly, the system will be devilishly difficult to fix. However, explaining that in a way people can understand or be bothered reading is a tall order, because the system is also mind-blowingly complex. But I’ll have a go at it anyway. Read more at The Summit.

About Ken Parish

Ken Parish is a legal academic, with research areas in public law (constitutional and administrative law), civil procedure and teaching & learning theory and practice. He has been a legal academic for almost 20 years. Before that he ran a legal practice in Darwin for 15 years and was a Member of the NT Legislative Assembly for almost 4 years in the early 1990s.
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I am and will always be Not Trampis
I am and will always be Not Trampis
4 years ago


your headline is misleading. Scomo might be a poor treasurer but he is not responsible for the distribution of the GST.

4 years ago
Reply to  Ken Parish

I find your posts very enlightening and very enjoyable. I – and hopefully many others – tend not to comment as your posts are educational as opposed to confrontational.

I am and will always be Not Trampis
I am and will always be Not Trampis
4 years ago

Ken, you quite clearly didn’t read my comment. I love irony

Edward Carson
Edward Carson(@contact)
4 years ago

Quite an informative and well researched article.
Of course, I don’t agree with the justification that we “need more or less that sort of money to provide a similar standard of public infrastructure, services and facilities as other Australians enjoy.” Why does need grant a right? That rationale only works while there are always other mugs willing to work hard and carry the load in the first place.
Why it is so hard to ask people to carry their own weight or, if they choose not to, not to covet their more successful neighbours?