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Western Australian Liberals push for secession

Liberal politicians fed up with Western Australia’s low share of GST revenue are pushing for it to secede from the rest of the country.

The ‘WAxit’ motion, to be proposed at the Liberal Party’s state conference this weekend, calls for a committee to be formed to examine the idea.

Rick Palmer, financial planner and former candidate for the federal seat of Brand, put forward the motion, expected to be supported by state president Norman Moore.

Liberal politicians fed up with Western Australia’s low share of GST revenue compared to its resources strength (pictured) are pushing for it to secede from the rest of the country

The 'WAxit' motion, to be proposed at the Liberal Party's state conference this weekend (last year's conference pictured), calls for a committee to be formed to examine the idea

The ‘WAxit’ motion, to be proposed at the Liberal Party’s state conference this weekend (last year’s conference pictured), calls for a committee to be formed to examine the idea

It calls for the party: ‘to examine the option of Western Australia becoming an independent state within the Commonwealth and answer the question “should we try” with a response to be referred to state council no later than July 2018.’

Three former MPs and three members of the state council would make up the committee, but its recommendations would not be binding.

‘The bottom line is the federation has started to treat WA like a golden goose, and they are all vampires, sucking at our jugular vein,’ Mr Palmer told PerthNow. 

He and others are also angry about the recent decision by the Australian Rugby Union to dump the Western Force from the downsized four-nations competition.

The rogue Liberals’ motion would be a significant embarrassment for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who will address the conference.

Rick Palmer (pictured), financial planner and former candidate for the federal seat of Brand, put forward the motion, expected to be supported by state president Norman Moore

Rick Palmer (pictured), financial planner and former candidate for the federal seat of Brand, put forward the motion, expected to be supported by state president Norman Moore

WA overwhelmingly voted to secede in 1933 - with 138,653 of 237,198 electors voting yes compared to 70,706 no votes

WA overwhelmingly voted to secede in 1933 – with 138,653 of 237,198 electors voting yes compared to 70,706 no votes

Senior party sources said the motion was likely to pass with a majority of the 500 members expected to attend.

‘It would be a brave person to speak against it,’ one senior WA Liberal told PerthNow.

Secessionist talk is prompted by a longstanding stoush between WA leaders and the Federal Government over GST revenue allocation.

Premiers of both parties regularly demand a bigger slice of the $60 billion pie based on the state’s massive contribution to Australia’s economy.

WA will receive 34 cent in the dollar this financial year, and last year got $2.35 billion – just 3.7 per cent of the total pool. 

The issue periodically crops up, but would need the whole country to agree in a referendum to actually happen.

The issue periodically crops up, but would need the whole country to agree in a referendum to actually happen.

A flyer urging Western Australians to vote no in 1933, but only 70,706 did

A flyer urging Western Australians to vote no in 1933, but only 70,706 did

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten last weekend promised an extra $1.5 billion in infrastructure funding if he won government. 

Anger about WA’s GST allocation was successfully leveraged in the 2010 election campaign, where the Liberals ran an ad claiming the state was ‘Labor’s cash cow’.

WA overwhelmingly voted to secede in 1933 – with 138,653 of 237,198 electors voting yes compared to 70,706 no votes – but was blocked by Canberra appealing to the British Parliament.

The issue periodically crops up, but would need the whole country to agree in a referendum to actually happen.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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