Townsville MP Scott Stewart wants a fair go as changes are flagged to the GST.
Townsville MP Scott Stewart wants a fair go as changes are flagged to the GST.

Millions to lose in GST rethink

NORTH Queenslanders could lose millions of dollars in services under a shake-up of the GST according to the State Government.

In June the Federal Government unveiled its plans to change the way the billions of dollars in GST revenue are distributed after years of complaints from states like Western Australia that they were being dudded.

But Townsville MP Scott Stewart said the planned changes to the GST would rip $1 billion away from Queensland and "devastate" frontline services in Townsville.

"All we want is Queensland's fair share but instead we're getting Canberra's cuts," he said. Mr Stewart said the loss of GST revenue for Townsville was the equivalent of cutting 149 teachers, 149 nurses, 90 police and 45 firefighters.

"It would mean less money for our local roads, schools and hospitals," he said. "GST is meant to be distributed fairly to ensure all Australians have access to high quality services - regardless of where they live.

"But as Australia's most decentralised state it's clear that under the changes regional Queenslanders would be at a disadvantage."

Mr Stewart said he wanted the Federal Government to guarantee in legislation that Queensland would not be worse off under its GST proposal.

The Commonwealth has already assured the states none of them would be worse off and announced it would spend more than $7 billion topping up payments while the new model is phased in.

But all states except for WA have demanded that guarantee be written into the legislation.