Abbott must clarify stance on GST Mon 7 May 2012 Lara Giddings Premier Julie Collins Federal Member for Franklin The Premier, Lara Giddings, and Federal Member for Franklin, Julie Collins said today Tasmanians were more confused than ever over where Tony Abbott stands on the GST. In Western Australia on Tuesday, Mr Abbott said he had "long been sympathetic" to the campaign of mainland Liberal states for a greater share of the GST. "I think that what ought to be very seriously considered by the government right now is the proposal that all the Liberal states have put up, that the GST revenue should be distributed on what is closer to a per capita arrangement," Mr Abbott said. Ms Giddings said such a proposal would rip up to $700 million a year out of Tasmania which is equivalent to the combined loss of 800 doctors, 3000 nurses, 500 allied health professionals and over 100 child protection staff. "Mr Abbott's comments are there in black and white for all to see but yesterday at Agfest he tried to claim that's not what he meant," Ms Giddings said. "But Tasmanians have been left asking 'what exactly did he mean'?" The Liberal leader once famously said that: "the statements that need to be taken absolutely as gospel truth are those carefully prepared scripted remarks." "So was Tony Abbott reading from the script in Tasmania or was what he said in WA the gospel truth? "The only way to be sure is for Mr Abbott to put his assurances in writing when he responds to the letter I sent him. "Mr Abbott should categorically rule out moving away from the current distribution method, which assures a fair go for all, and repudiate his support for a per-capita model. "He says he wants fairness but how can it be fairer to allow mineral-rich states to hoard the nation's wealth, compared to the current method, which assures a fair-go for all?" Ms Collins said Mr Abbott's assurances he would treat Tasmania fairly can't be taken seriously. "As it currently stands, Tasmania's fair share of the nation's wealth is far from assured if Tony Abbott becomes Prime Minister," Ms Collins said. "Tony Abbott tells his mainland mates one thing and Tasmanians another. "There is no middle ground - Tony Abbott putting more GST in the pockets of his Liberal mates in the larger states will mean much less for Tasmania. "In Australia's current patchwork economy, we need a system that assures a fair go for all. "While our economic fundamentals are strong, the patchwork nature of the national economy is placing pressures on some industries and some regions. "Before the next Federal election, Tony Abbott must make his plans for Tasmania very clear," Ms Collins said.