Skip to Content

Horizontal Fiscal Equalisation

Submissions

Submissions received for the Horizontal Fiscal Equalisation public inquiry.

* Submissions marked with an asterisk have omitted 'In confidence' content - part or all of the submission is not online.

# Hash denotes some attachments are not available online. Contact the project team for access if necessary.

% Percent symbol denotes scanned image PDFs which are not readable by some screen readers. For help read our accessibility statement.

Expand allCollapse all

Submissions received before the release of the draft report are listed here.
No. Name Pages Received
1 Commonwealth Grants Commission (PDF - 210.5 KB) 4 08/06/2017
2 George Williams (PDF - 110.0 KB) 1 05/06/2017
  George Williams (Word - 82.5 KB)    
3 Doug Buckley (PDF - 104.9 KB) 2 07/06/2017
  Doug Buckley (Word - 20.4 KB)    
4 Julie Matheson for Western Australia Party (PDF - 67.9 KB) 3 14/06/2017
5 John Pitman (PDF - 90.0 KB) 2 14/06/2017
  John Pitman (Word - 16.2 KB)    
6 Wilson Tuckey (PDF - 109.0 KB) 3 16/06/2017
  Wilson Tuckey (Word - 17.1 KB)    
7 John McAuley (PDF - 231.7 KB) 4 20/06/2017
8 Peter Brohier (PDF - 177.9 KB) 11 20/06/2017
  Peter Brohier (Word - 37.5 KB)    
Attachments 1-19 (PDF - 5.9 MB) % image PDF 60 20/06/2017
Attachment 20: Omega transport plan: Linking Victoria and Tasmania (PDF - 172.2 KB) 5 03/07/2017
  Attachment 20: Omega transport plan: Linking Victoria and Tasmania (Word - 19.4 KB)    
Attachment 21: Letter from Australian Government House of Representatives Standing Committee on Petitions (PDF - 195.7 KB) 1 30/08/2017
9 Peter Abelson (PDF - 298.8 KB) 29 22/06/2017
  Peter Abelson (Word - 230.0 KB)    
10 Wealth Wisdom Pty Ltd (PDF - 402.0 KB) 17 23/06/2017
  Wealth Wisdom Pty Ltd (Word - 41.6 KB)    
11 Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCIWA) (PDF - 4.3 MB) 12 27/06/2017
12 Put Western Australia First (PDF - 562.4 KB) 6 27/06/2017
13 Great Northern Telecommunications (PDF - 111.9 KB) 2 28/06/2017
  Great Northern Telecommunications (Word - 718.0 KB)    
14 Wayne Muller (PDF - 908.1 KB) 7 28/06/2017
15 WA Government (PDF - 1.2 MB) 122 29/06/2017
Cover letter (PDF - 382.9 KB) 1 29/06/2017
16 James McDonald (PDF - 351.2 KB) 4 29/06/2017
17 Chris Egan (PDF - 160.1 KB) 6 28/06/2017
  Chris Egan (Word - 27.4 KB)    
18 Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) (PDF - 425.2 KB) 3 29/06/2017
19 Janine Harding (PDF - 60.3 KB) 1 30/06/2017
20 Lock the Gate Alliance (PDF - 204.8 KB) 2 30/06/2017
21 Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (PDF - 223.7 KB) 3 30/06/2017
22 Parliamentary Liberal Party of WA (PDF - 1.1 MB) 16
  Parliamentary Liberal Party of WA (Word - 2.8 MB)    
Cover letter (PDF - 78.7 KB) 1 30/06/2017
  Cover letter (Word - 12.1 KB)    
23 Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) (PDF - 590.9 KB) 4 30/06/2017
24 Grattan Institute (PDF - 288.9 KB) 10 30/06/2017
25 South Australian Government (PDF - 441.0 KB) 26 30/06/2017
26 Business SA (PDF - 97.6 KB) 6 30/06/2017
27 NSW Business Chamber (PDF - 731.8 KB) 9 30/06/2017
28 Tasmanian State Government (PDF - 568.7 KB) 50 30/06/2017
Cover letter (PDF - 157.4 KB) 1 30/06/2017
29 Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (PDF - 237.3 KB) 2 30/06/2017
30 Tasmanian Greens (PDF - 170.1 KB) 2 30/06/2017
31 Northern Territory Opposition (PDF - 296.7 KB) 3 30/06/2017
32 Queensland Government (PDF - 3.6 MB) 16 30/06/2017
Cover letter (PDF - 316.5 KB) 1 30/06/2017
33 The Australia Institute (PDF - 477.1 KB) 8 30/06/2017
34 Minerals Council of Australia (PDF - 178.0 KB) 7 30/06/2017
35 WA Federal Liberal Members and Senators (PDF - 293.6 KB) 5 30/06/2017
36 WA Federal Parliamentary Labor Party (PDF - 154.0 KB) 6 30/06/2017
37 Rio Tinto (PDF - 41.9 KB) 3 03/07/2017
38 Neil Warren (PDF - 645.5 KB) 6 30/06/2017
  Neil Warren (Word - 101.7 KB)    
39 Rebecca White (Member of Parliament) (PDF - 149.8 KB) 3 03/07/2017
  Rebecca White (Member of Parliament) (Word - 36.8 KB)    
40 Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PDF - 419.3 KB) 8 03/07/2017
41 Michael Chaney, Andrew Forrest, John Poynton and Nigel Satterley (PDF - 105.7 KB) 1 04/07/2017
42 BHP Billiton (PDF - 1.1 MB) 2 04/07/2017
43 Parliamentary National Party of Western Australia (PDF - 507.8 KB) 10 05/07/2017
44 Senator Peter Georgiou (PDF - 561.7 KB) 9 06/07/2017
45 Pauline Hanson’s One Nation WA (PDF - 331.5 KB) 10 07/07/2017
46 Western Australian Local Government Association (PDF - 423.3 KB) 14 10/07/2017
47 Business Council of Australia (PDF - 401.5 KB) 12 10/07/2017
48 Minerals Council of Australia (PDF - 641.2 KB) 28 14/07/2017
49 ACT Government (PDF - 1.1 MB) 92 12/07/2017
  ACT Government (Word - 813.0 KB)    
Cover letter (PDF - 94.6 KB) 2 12/07/2017
50 John Mcauley (PDF - 292.4 KB) 4 19/07/2017
51 Northern Territory Government (PDF - 692.9 KB) 44 26/07/2017
52 NSW Government (PDF - 1.5 MB) 64 31/07/2017
53 Victorian Government (PDF - 358.0 KB) 26 01/08/2017
54 Jim Hancock (PDF - 301.7 KB) 13 02/08/2017
  Jim Hancock (Word - 117.2 KB)    
55 Australian Bankers' Association (ABA) (PDF - 164.2 KB) 4 29/08/2017
56 Arthur Downing (PDF - 129.3 KB) 2 04/09/2017
  Arthur Downing (Word - 17.6 KB)    

Post-draft submissions (67)

Submissions received after the release of the draft report are listed here.
No. Name Pages Received
DR57 Doug Buckley (PDF - 68.1 KB) 2 17/10/2017
  Doug Buckley (Word - 14.8 KB)    
DR58 John McAuley (PDF - 79.1 KB) 2 23/10/2017
Attachment: HFE and effects on GST distributions (PDF - 449.2 KB) 4 28/11/2017
DR59 Jack Priestly (PDF - 33.7 KB) 1 27/10/2017
  Jack Priestly (Word - 11.5 KB)    
DR60 Phillip Bubb (PDF - 213.3 KB) 5 26/10/2017
  Phillip Bubb (Word - 24.2 KB)    
DR61 Commonwealth Grants Commission (PDF - 789.8 KB) 20 31/10/2017
Attachment: Technical queries from the Productivity Commission on the Commonwealth Grants Commission (CGC) submission – Response by staff of the CGC (PDF - 371.2 KB) 6 09/11/2017
DR62 John Pitman (PDF - 114.0 KB) 2 31/10/2017
  John Pitman (Word - 17.6 KB)    
DR63 Rebecca White (PDF - 330.6 KB) 2 02/11/2017
DR64 David Burt (PDF - 114.4 KB) 2 13/04/2018
DR65 Australian Conservation Foundation (PDF - 153.0 KB) 4 08/11/2017
DR66 Tasmanian Council of Social Service (TasCOSS) (PDF - 546.8 KB) 4 08/11/2017
Cover letter (PDF - 281.5 KB) 1 08/11/2017
DR67 Ken Clarke (PDF - 47.1 KB) 1 09/11/2017
  Ken Clarke (Word - 15.5 KB)    
DR68 Michael Dillon (PDF - 102.5 KB) 2 09/11/2017
  Michael Dillon (Word - 17.6 KB)    
DR69 Northern Territory Government (PDF - 493.4 KB) 32 09/11/2017
DR70 Insurance Council of Australia (PDF - 74.8 KB) 4 09/11/2017
DR71 Saul Eslake (PDF - 197.0 KB) 5 09/11/2017
DR72 Put Western Australia First Party (PWAFP) (PDF - 271.5 KB) 18 09/11/2017
DR73 Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) (PDF - 407.7 KB) 2 10/11/2017
DR74 Tasmanian Government (PDF - 406.2 KB) 42 10/11/2017
DR75 South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) (PDF - 132.8 KB) 3 10/11/2017
  South Australian Council of Social Service (SACOSS) (Word - 29.4 KB)    
DR76 Parliamentary National Party (PNP) WA (PDF - 258.7 KB) 5 10/11/2017
DR77 Damien Kelly (PDF - 134.4 KB) 2 10/11/2017
DR78 Northern Territory Opposition (PDF - 131.8 KB) 17 10/11/2017
Letter (PDF - 124.1 KB) 1 10/11/2017
  Letter (Word - 712.2 KB)    
DR79 Tasmanian Greens (PDF - 98.9 KB) 2 10/11/2017
DR80 Yothu Yindi Foundation (YYF) (PDF - 167.6 KB) 9 10/11/2017
Attachment: Remote town unemployment figures (PDF - 97.1 KB) 1 10/11/2017
  Attachment: Remote town unemployment figures (Word - 13.9 KB)    
DR81 ACT Government (PDF - 1.2 MB) 78 10/11/2017
DR82 Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) (PDF - 144.6 KB) 2 10/11/2017
  Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) (Word - 207.1 KB)    
DR83 WA Government (PDF - 310.3 KB) 47 10/11/2017
DR84 Western Australian Council of Social Service (WACOSS) (PDF - 462.2 KB) 2 13/11/2017
DR85 NSW Business Chamber (NSWBC) (PDF - 274.1 KB) 6 13/11/2017
DR86 Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia (CCIWA) (PDF - 1.1 MB) 11 13/11/2017
DR87 Victorian Government (PDF - 649.2 KB) 30 13/11/2017
Attachment: Public hearing presentation by Tim Pallas MP | Victorian Treasurer (PDF - 227.4 KB) 13 17/11/2017
DR88 Peter Brohier (PDF - 181.1 KB) 3 13/11/2017
  Peter Brohier (Word - 20.8 KB)    
Attachment: Second submission (PDF - 48.6 KB) 3 17/11/2017
  Attachment: Second submission (Word - 15.5 KB)    
DR89 South Australian Government (PDF - 163.7 KB) 19 10/11/2017
DR90 Financial Services Council (FSC) (PDF - 321.7 KB) 3 14/11/2017
DR91 Institute of Public Affairs (PDF - 633.3 KB) 24 14/11/2017
Cover letter (PDF - 117.7 KB) 2 14/11/2017
  Cover letter (Word - 109.8 KB)    
DR92 Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PDF - 332.5 KB) 2 15/11/2017
DR93 Victorian Trades Hall Council (PDF - 467.3 KB) 2 15/11/2017
Attachment: Response to questions raised during the public hearing (PDF - 603.9 KB) 2 08/12/2017
DR94 Business SA (PDF - 272.9 KB) 7 21/11/2017
DR95 Central Land Council (PDF - 334.4 KB) 3 21/11/2017
DR96 Jonathan Pincus (PDF - 61.2 KB) 3 23/11/2017
DR97 Launceston Chamber of Commerce (PDF - 168.8 KB) 2 24/11/2017
  Launceston Chamber of Commerce (Word - 97.5 KB)    
DR98 Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) NT (PDF - 177.0 KB) 3 27/11/2017
DR99 Master Builders NT (PDF - 205.2 KB) 14 27/11/2017
  Master Builders NT (Word - 78.3 KB)    
DR100 Business Council of Australia (PDF - 7.2 MB) 2 29/11/2017
DR101 Australian Medical Association (NT) (PDF - 801.1 KB) 10 28/11/2017
DR102 Jerome Fahrer and Vince FitzGerald (PDF - 631.1 KB) 31 07/12/2017
DR103 Anwar Shah (PDF - 804.0 KB) 63 07/12/2017
DR104 Climate Change our Future (PDF - 143.6 KB) 6 15/12/2017
  Climate Change our Future (Word - 113.8 KB)    
DR105 Town of Port Hedland Council (PDF - 657.1 KB) 4 15/12/2017
DR106 Queensland Government (PDF - 873.7 KB) 14 18/12/2017
DR107 Parliamentary Liberal Party of WA (PDF - 147.4 KB) 2 14/12/2017
DR108 WA Government (PDF - 206.8 KB) 15 27/12/2017
DR109 NSW Government (PDF - 813.8 KB) 44 10/01/2018
DR110 Queensland Nurses’ and Midwives’ Union (PDF - 620.4 KB) 4 24/01/2018
DR111 Tasmanian Government (PDF - 187.7 KB) 10 19/01/2018
DR112 John P McAuley (PDF - 410.2 KB) 4 29/01/2018
Attachment: Restoring Equity in the Horizontal Fiscal Equalisation / GST Distribution System Main Points and supporting appendix (PDF - 342.2 KB) 6 01/04/2018
DR113 Townsville City Council (PDF - 547.0 KB) 3 31/01/2018
DR114 United Voice Queensland (PDF - 222.2 KB) 3 31/01/2018
DR115 Townsville Enterprise Limited (PDF - 67.2 KB) 2 31/01/2018
DR116 Griffith University (PDF - 509.5 KB) 7 31/01/2018
DR117 Queensland Council of Unions (PDF - 118.1 KB) 9 31/01/2018
DR118 Queensland Council of Social service (PDF - 170.6 KB) 4 31/01/2018
DR119 Queensland Teachers’ Union of Employees (PDF - 61.6 KB) 4 31/01/2018
  Queensland Teachers’ Union of Employees (Word - 22.1 KB)    
DR120 Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (PDF - 554.9 KB) 5 31/01/2018
DR121 Local Government Association Queensland (PDF - 228.8 KB) 3 01/02/2018
DR122 Office of Senator Peter Georgiou (PDF - 379.9 KB) 11 02/02/2018
DR123 Peter Urban (PDF - 78.0 KB) 4 05/02/2018
  Peter Urban (Word - 19.7 KB)    
No.Name Submission content
1 David Harris

When you have finished the inquiry and recommend what is a "fair" distribution of the GST to all States and Territories, could you please explain the "fairness" in plain English so that the average voter can understand how the distribution of the GST is in fact "fair" to all. Please do not hide the fairness (or otherwise) behind a mass of technical financial and economic jargon which would leave most people totally in the dark. i.e. not only must the recommended distribution be fair but also clearly seen to be fair. thank you

2 Eric Waterhouse

After researching the ownership of the Minerals in Australia I have found that the minerals are owned by the state this is enforced by Statue of Law, this would imply that by including the royalties into the Federal GST Breakdown is in contravention of the Statue of Law as this means all the states are receiving the royalties of these minerals which are not from the state that owns the mineral. By including the Mineral Royalties in the HFE leads to other states taking a share of the proceeds raised by the Mineral Royalties without contributing to the expense in developing the infrastructure spent by the state. It should be noted that the act of mining actually contributes a great amount to the GST revenue through the payments of GST on their operational invoices as there is a large turnover of goods and services which incur GST. It should now be noted that Queensland considered reducing the Mining Royalty to be applied to the coal from a potential Coal Mine which then makes a mockery of the Mineral Royalty inclusion in the GST Funds Distribution Calculations (Horizontal Fiscal Equalisation) as this reduces the amount included in the HFE calculations so they would be subsidised by other states. The Australian Constitution states that consolidated revenue (of which GST is paid from) shall be debited to each state based on the number of its people, this ensure that the Horizontal Equalisation is not discriminatory as per the requirement of the Australian Constitution. In addition the Australian Constitution states that the distribution of the funds in the consolidated revenue is only based on funds raised by the Federal Government which means including funds raised by states is unconstitutional. In including the Mineral Royalty in the GST Calculation it is also imposing a tax on the State Asset which is contravention of the Australian Constitution (114).

3 Rod Kerley

Surely 75% of GST could be allocated on a per Capita basis. The balance used as a equalisation fund and State share reduced by any levy or tax it placed on a national resource such as coal or iron ore and this be also placed in the equalisation fund.

4 Alan Wardrop

Regarding question 1d of the guidance note Does the current HFE system influence State policies to facilitate, restrict or tax the development of economic activity, and in particular energy and mineral resources? In the light of the current political debate and the treasurer's stated position regarding promotion of coal and coal seam gas extraction this appears to be aimed at forcing the states to comply with the federal liberal party's ideology and position. I strongly object to the use of the HFE process being used to force changes to legislation by democratically elected state governments, which must consider many factors including social and environmental concerns besides financial.

5 Roslyn Miles

How the current GST dispersal of monies is allocated and the ultimate responsibility of terms of reference does not seem explainable by the Treasurer or the members of the Commission itself. There seems to be little belief of fairness in this system by Western Australians. Our WA civilians are discriminated against by a system which rewards those states that have moratoriums on their exploration of commodities. It does not appear to create incentives for other states to exploit natural resources - but instead seems to produce a "welfare" mentality permeating across all other states. Our commodity royalties are supposedly protected within the Federation and the Constitution to be the property of the state. The current GST system appears to be redistribution by stealth of our royalty income. We are constantly being pushed into a budget deficit because we have our own income taken from us - and then to add insult to injury - we are given a handout by the Federal Government and then told how grateful we should be. This system is imposing debt on our state that will be borne by our children and grandchildren for generations to come. WA will reach a point that we will never be able to pay down the debt owing and will only be servicing the interest - and yet other states are posting surpluses. The Commonwealth Grants Commission seems to fail to understand the vast distances involved that the state government needs cover to provide services to citizens. The current GST allocation then replicates this denial of need for our state and then discriminates against every single citizen living here. We in WA are being told to expand gambling - in turn taking money from those that can least afford it - how can that be a moral or ethical solution - but the gambling royalties from the other states are ignored. Why are those people that live in WA valued so much less than those people in other states? This system is causing resentment and angst in WA.

6 Amanda Dear

To the extent that the Federal Government seeks to tie the distribution of GST to the issue of unconventional gas exploration and fracking as reported in the Australian, I would like to add my voice to the extreme concern such a move should generate in all Australians. As a matter of economics, it seems severely flawed. There are ample existing gas reserves in Australia and logically gas will be most economically extracted from the areas where it is more favourably received - as has been evident from the Queensland experience. As a matter of science, it is far from resolved that fracking does not have long term environmental consequences in sensitive areas and in particular in sensitive underground aquifers. In Queensland the initial understanding of the underground geology and hydrogeology was completely wrong in some areas – e.g. aquitards that were initially considered "impermeable" have later been shown to be different and/or have fissures etc / initial EIS documents by Arrow indicated the Condamine Alluvium, a vital water source, was separated from the relevant coal measures only to later be accepted as sitting within them in parts. Further, the regulator in Queensland has proven completely inadequate (including as to funding) to be “ahead” of industry developments and/or is significantly constrained by the lack of ability to impose disclosure on the part of operators. No comfort can be taken from the role State regulators are able to play, unless they are adequately funded and completely independent of Government influence. In short, until there is far more scientific evidence available, a precautionary approach must be adopted in sensitive areas and it is completely inappropriate to bypass sensible precaution by economic threats. As a matter of social conscience, it is repugnant for a Commonwealth Government to effectively impose its ideological agenda on a legitimately elected State Government with a different ideological or political approach.

7 Janet Cavanaugh Please accept this as a late submission to the Horizontal Fiscal Equalisation inquiry. I note that the terms of reference include specific reference to “State laws and policies restricting the development of energy resources.” This is curious, given that the states have the constitutional right to impose these laws and policies. There are several reasons why such laws and policies may exist. Key among them is protection of our water resources, including groundwater supplies. In the driest inhabited continent, protection of water needs to be paramount in all natural resource management decisions. Other key reasons why there may be restrictions on developing energy resources is climate change. We need to move quickly from a fossil-fuel dependent economy if we are to avert the worst excesses of climate change. Unconventional gas (tight sands gas, shale gas and coal seam gas) comes with a significant risk of increased greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional gas. This is due to the different extraction methods required which involves fracking and numerous smaller well-heads. We also need to phase out the use of coal to generate electricity and invest more in clean energy sources. Due to a future, warming climate, Australia will likely face major ecosystem collapse and loss of major tourism income streams (from, for example, the Great Barrier Reef). I believe it is unacceptable for the Federal Government to impose policy demands on the States and Territories in exchange for the GST revenue that funds our schools and hospitals, and that replaced previous existing state revenue streams. The GST must be distributed on a fair and objective basis to fund basic services needed by communities, and should not be used as a tool to blackmail states and territories into accepting invasive gasfields against the will of the voting public.
8 Wealth Wisdom Pty Ltd One important point that everybody seems to have missed. In the absence of a better GST deal, Western Australia could simply change the Royalty rate from 7.5% to 0.75% - with a 2% "charity" donation such as to telethon instead(to fully fund Ambulances etc.) This would elevate WA to 100% GST share, provide a better benefit to WA financially than the current system, and effectively eliminate the $5 Billion Royalty sharing from WA everybody is proposing continues. Before determining the the current system is fine, as all States and Territories contend, consider the impact of a solution such as, or similar to the above. It is not in the "National Interest" - but it would solve WA's low GST share and it is within the power of WA to do this.
9 Submissions on fracking and GST distribution The Commission has received a large number (5600 plus) of email submissions from private individuals expressing opinions on fracking. The submissions were received via a campaign platform, and are essentially identical.

To aid transparency, the text of the template submission is reproduced below. Due the large volume of submissions, it is impractical to list the names of all the individuals who put their names to such submissions.

These submissions are providing a valuable source of information about people's views on matters raised in the terms of reference for this inquiry. They are being considered by the Commissioners and staff, and will be drawn on in the preparation of the draft inquiry report.

*******
To the Productivity Commission,

I’m writing to make a submission to the Horizontal Fiscal Equalisation inquiry because I believe it is unacceptable for the Federal Government to impose policy demands on the States and Territories in exchange for the GST revenue that funds our schools and hospitals.

Many states have introduced moratoriums or even outright bans on unconventional gas and fracking in response to growing evidence that these activities are fundamentally unsustainable and harmful to community health, water resources and the future of rural communities.

This is entirely consistent with the States’ and Territories’ constitutional responsibility to manage natural resources and protect water resources and the environment.

Forcing the states to allow fracking in return for GST would be an extraordinary and unwarranted intervention in state affairs, and would create a real risk of contamination and depletion of irreplaceable groundwater.

We consider this to be a case of the Federal Government trying to blackmail state governments in a bid to promote the activities of multinational fracking corporations. It is an unethical step.

Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory have done nothing but what they were elected to do.

Anti-democratic intervention by the Productivity Commission or the Federal Government to force unsafe unconventional gas mining or unsustainable coal mining onto our communities will not be tolerated.

The GST must be distributed on a fair and objective basis to fund basic services needed by communities, and should not be used as a tool to blackmail states and territories into accepting invasive gasfields against the will of the voting public.