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After an exceptional spray on Monday labeling Peter Duton a conservative “extremist”, the Western Australian Prime Minister Mark McGowan has channeled his anger at the Victorian Labor government over its $2.6 billion bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

McGowan criticized the poor management of government budgets, including his fellow Labor Prime Minister, Daniel Andrewsafter being asked if he thought the Albanian government would give in to pressure from other states to reverse changes to the GST formula enacted by the coalition government in 2018.

Mark McGowan in Perth on Monday.Recognition:Hamish Hastie

“States need to manage their budgets,” he said. “I know Victoria, they’re fellow travelers and the like, but they just spent $2.6 billion getting the Commonwealth Games to put them in Bendigo.

“I mean, if they want to spend so much money on the Commonwealth Games in Bendigo and then complain that they don’t have enough money, then maybe they should make different decisions.”

Mayor of the City of Perth Basil Zempilas had pushed for a Perth bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games, but this was rejected by the McGowan government.

Perth Mayor Basil Zempilas was keen to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.

Perth Mayor Basil Zempilas was keen to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.Recognition:Peter de Krujff

“We decided against the Commonwealth Games because I didn’t want to go in an uncertain world and spend $2.5 billion on something nice [thing] to have,” he said.

“What we want to do is adequately fund our hospitals, address major health issues, pay off debts, [and] diversification of the economy.”

Earlier this month, the WA budget revealed the state had a $5.7 billion operating surplus for 2021-22, thanks largely to strong iron ore prices.

The change to the GST formula was made by the coalition government in 2018 after years of low iron ore prices impacted WA’s fiscal performance.


The fortune reversal coupled with billions more than expected GST cash has sparked dissatisfaction in other states.

This included NSW Premier Dominik Perrottetwho famously referred to McGowan as “the Gollum of Australian politics”.

McGowan has openly criticized the NSW Government’s handling of its budget, but today’s comments were his harshest indictment yet against the Victorian Labor government, whose net debt is expected to be $101.9 billion by the end of this fiscal year.


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