The NT is supporting Queensland in calling for an emergency COAG meeting to reject being wedged over the GST and health and education funding.
The Northern Territory stands rock solid with Queensland to reject any attempt to wedge states and territories into asking for an increase to the GST, the chief minister says.
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman on Wednesday accused the federal government of being unfair and unreasonable by springing an “unacceptable” $80 billion worth of cuts to health and education over the next decade, putting more pressure on states.
He said the “disappointing” move was not transparent and has called for an emergency COAG meeting to discuss it.
NT Chief Minister Adam Giles agrees with Premier Newman that the cuts were not in the spirit of federation.
“We stand rock solid with Queensland on this matter,” he told AAP.
“It would have been very good to have been made aware of this at COAG two weeks ago; in the spirit of co-operative federalism, there needs to be confidence in sharing these issues with states and territories so we’re all on the same page.”
He said he did not want the NT to pay any more GST and would fight against it, but said there should be a more rewarding model of distribution of the tax to recognise the hard work that jurisdictions like the NT are doing to grow their economy.
“We’re not just sitting back and saying, `feds, feed us more money’ like Labor did,” he said.
“We’re spending money on infrastructure, we’re producing more industries in the NT and that will grow for generations to come, and we should be rewarded for that.”
Mr Giles said the NT wanted to take on more responsibility for health, education and indigenous affairs, and that there had been too much duplication between federal and territory responsibilities.
“But we have to have the pass-through rates of relevant funding to be able to allow that to occur,” he said.
“We understand there has to be repair work done and heavy lifting by all Australians to fix Labor’s mess, but we’re not going to be wedged in the process.”
He said he thought all other states and territories should agree on the issue.
Along with Mr Giles, Mr Newman has so far spoken about the crisis meeting to NSW Premier Mike Baird, Victorian Premier Denis Napthine and South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill. A date has not yet been set.