GARETH PARKER: Tim Hammond the Labor Member for Perth is my guest as he is every second Wednesday, Tim, good morning.


SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSUMER AFFAIRS TIM HAMMOND:  Great to be with you Gareth, sorry about the background noise. I’m out and about in the electorate, although not walking with as much grace as I otherwise would – I pulled up a bit lame from the weekend’s City to Surf.


PAKRER: You did the marathon didn’t you?


HAMMOND: I did and I’m feeling every single kilometre of it right now, let me tell you.


PAKRER: Well, it serves you right, I don’t have any sympathy for you. Your Federal leader Bill Shorten; what’s his aversion to doing talk back radio in Perth? He didn’t do my program, he didn’t do Oliver Peterson’s program, I don’t think he did the ABC, he’s done a bit of light FM radio but we’d actually like him to come on and answer some questions about what he proposes to do with our GST system.


HAMMOND: I’m not aware he has any such aversion to be honest with you. I don't think that was the approach he was taking. I’m pretty sure Bill doesn’t have a problem speaking with anyone at any time or certainly coming to WA. I think his track record has probably proved that.


PAKRER: Yeah, he just doesn’t come on this station or others like it. He goes on soft FM stations instead.


HAMMOND: I don’t pretend to be Bill Shorten mate, but any time you want me you know where to get me.


PAKRER: If you see him, perhaps just past on a request from us. We tried his with Christian Porter and the Federal Treasurer and it worked a treat.


HAMMOND: I’d be delighted.


PAKRER: What he did announce is $1.6 billion of tied infrastructure funding to be delivered in 2019 and 2020 as, I guess, a bit of compensation. That’s welcome, but it’s not a GST solution is it?


HAMMOND: Gareth, I don’t agree with you mate and I think we need to be very clear-eyed about the reasons why Bill came to town on the weekend to announce this package. It is inextricably entwined with the fact that we are not getting our fair share out of the GST allocation as it currently sits. This figure and the way in which the reform package is structured is not a figure plucked out of thin air, there are very good reasons why the package is set up the way it is.


Firstly; the $1.6 billion dollars, again, is not just a figure made up because it sounds good, it is because it equates to a 70 per cent floor in terms of a GST allocation for WA. It is all designed so we get a fair share of funding back into Western Australia so we can create consumer confidence and create infrastructure projects in relation to a 70 per cent floor, which I think we can all agree is a floor figure that we have all thought is a reasonable figure over time.


The second thing that actually makes this package something substantial in terms of recognising there is a problem and doing something about it is again, it’s not a sugar hit Gareth, it is an infrastructure package protected by a legislative instrument – a legislatively protected fund which sits there to make sure we are getting a fair share of funds allocated back to WA to make sure we don’t find ourselves in this same situation again.


In terms of the timing, we can only do what we can do when we see a Shorten Government. What we’ve committed to is making sure the first Federal budget that we have responsibility for is going to deliver something for Western Australia.


PAKRER: You’ve mentioned the 70c floor; it’s predicated on WA’s GST share rising automatically through the natural rebound we are told is going to come to about 60c in the dollar. Let’s say that doesn’t happen. Let’s say that our GST share only rebounds to 50c in the dollar because iron ore prices do something other than predicted, and that wouldn’t be an unrealistic proposition at all. Will the $1.6 billion commitment rise to bring us up to 70c, could it rise to $2 billion, $2.5 billion – is that the guarantee or is it capped at $1.6 billion?


HAMMOND: No, Chris Bowen addressed this yesterday. We can only deal with the projections we have been given from Western Australian Treasury and the projections are based upon us addressing between where we get to, from 60c to 70c in the dollar along the time frame that we do. So we have to commit money on the basis of what information we have currently been given. Chris Bowen has said as late as yesterday that he is prepared to reassess depending upon whereabouts the projections actually go.   


PAKRER: This is important Tim, you can’t go around saying you’ve guaranteed a 70c floor in our GST share if that’s not in fact what you have done.


HAMMOND: That’s exactly what this package is designed to do. That is what we have done based upon the information we have been given from treasury and so that is where we come up with the figure of $1.6 billion dollars.


What it does require; it requires the Government of the day, which is the Turnbull Government, to also do something concrete about delivering an outcome to Western Australians right now.


We are delivering certainty, $1.6 billion of certainty in relation to infrastructure funding which is the equivalent of a 70c floor through a package which delivers an outcome for WA. I reckon that’s a good thing and a great thing to be proud of.


PAKRER: With your Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs hat on; you are making some noises today about ticket resales – scalpers – they are pretty unpopular. They’re almost as unpopular as politicians and journalists. What can you tell us about that?


HAMMOND: That’s saying something isn’t it? Tony Burke and I have spoken on this in parliament a couple weeks ago. For those who aren’t necessarily aware, a bit under the pump and time-poor there are websites that look like the real thing in terms of tickets to concerts and other types of promotions but they’re actually not.


There are re-sellers, like Viagogo, who scoop up tickets before the reasonable person can actually get on line and buy them from the venue and then resell them in one of two ways, which in my view pretty much looks like misleading and deceptive conduct. Firstly; they put a huge mark-up on the tickets and secondly they aren’t terribly clear about what it is you actually get.


So with the greatest of respect to the Paul McCartney impersonator who was here the other week, Viagogo and other outlets sell tickets they shouldn’t have in a circumstance in which the person thinks they are getting a ticket to the real deal. It’s not on and it’s got to be tightened up and that is what CHOICE is doing and we are backing them to the hilt.   


PAKRER: So we might see some legislative change down the track. Tim we are out of time, I appreciate your time today.


HAMMOND: Great to be with you Gareth.