01 December 2023

Today I met with my state and territory counterparts in Brisbane for a productive discussion on a range of shared objectives.

Treasurers meet in Queensland

Today I met with my state and territory counterparts in Brisbane for a productive discussion on a range of shared objectives.

Our instinct and our inclination is to work with states and territories as constructively as we can where that’s possible, where that’s affordable and where that’s responsible.

The states and territories have done really well out of the Albanese Government and that’s a good thing because we want to do the best we can for the people we represent.

We’ll continue to engage with our colleagues and work through issues in our usual considered and collaborative way in the lead up to next week’s National Cabinet meeting.

Topics discussed at today’s meeting include the fiscal pressures facing both levels of government in areas including health, hospitals and the NDIS.

Discussion between the Commonwealth and the states on the issue of the GST no‑worse off guarantee was productive, and is expected to continue at National Cabinet next week.

The cost to the Commonwealth of the GST no‑worse off guarantee has substantially increased since the original deal was put in place, and any extension would have significant fiscal implications for the Commonwealth.

Any developments on GST need to recognise the pressure on all our budgets, not just on state budgets.

Treasurers discussed the recent High Court decision in Vanderstock & Anor v State of Victoria – agreeing to establish a working group that would develop options in response to the implications of the decision on sources of state revenue, to provide security and certainty in relation to revenue arrangements.

The Commonwealth, states and territories will work together on long‑term options for zero emission vehicles user charging in light of the Vanderstock decision.

Treasurers agreed to revitalise national competition policy and committed to developing an agenda for long‑term pro‑competitive reforms.

The national competition policy agenda will be developed over the course of next year.

Treasurers agreed to work on a shared productivity agenda with a focus on creating a more dynamic and resilient economy, building a skilled and more adaptable workforce, harnessing data and digital technology, delivering quality care more efficiently, and investing in cheaper, cleaner energy and the net zero transformation.

In this challenging economic environment, it’s more important than ever for all levels of government to come together around some of the big economic and budgetary pressures that all of us are facing.

We will continue to work constructively with the states and territories to make progress on these important issues.