Liberal threat to Tasmanian GST payments still looming large Sat 16 March 2013 Lara Giddings Premier The Premier Lara Giddings says the threat to Tasmania's fair share of GST revenue is still looming large because of Tony Abbott's refusal to rule out changing the current distribution system to the States. Ms Giddings said Tasmania's worst fears could be realised following West Australian Premier Colin Barnett's optimism that Mr Abbott would accept a new model that could rip hundreds of millions of dollars in GST payments off Tasmania. "This was confirmed today by reports in the Financial Review that Mr Barnett has spoken to Mr Abbott in the past few days and would be putting forward alternative arrangements," Ms Giddings said. "Mr Abbott is still on the record as saying he supports a per capita model and the Liberals at the Federal and State level will not rule out changing the current system. "Eric Abetz provided clear evidence of the position of the Coalition when he confirmed earlier this week Tony Abbott would consider changing the GST system if he wins government. "In contrast Prime Minister Julia Gillard ruled out in Parliament this week changing the distribution system while Tony Abbott's response could at best be described as tricky. "Will Hodgman's failure to stand up for Tasmania on this issue shows he is more interested in putting his Liberal Party mates ahead of our State's interests. "Instead Will Hodgman and Peter Gutwein continue to try to muddy the waters by linking normal GST redistibution outcomes to the per capita debate. Ms Giddings said while Tasmania will receive $30 million less than was forecast in GST payments this year, the estimate would have been out by around $100 million using the methodology of Will Hodgman and Peter Gutwein."While disappointing to receive less than anticipated, we stand by the fairness of the current redistribution methodology."