One of the problems with only focusing on percentages instead of the actual figures when it comes to National and State planning is that percentages are bound to enable the more powerful States to always remain the most powerful and the smaller to always remain the least powerful.
We need some genuine national planning. Labor seemed to make a start towards that when they established a population minister, but in reality that didn’t go anywhere.
WA is 1/3rd of the continent, but with only a 10% of the population. With nearly 50% of the nation’s coastline, WA has only one metropolitan city; that doesn’t seem rational or sensible. It doesn’t seem to be making the best use of the whole country, and I’m sure there are other arguments in other States along similar lines.
We should be moving towards maximizing the benefits to all States, and that will obviously mean that those which have enjoyed most of the benefits of growth since the first landing, need to back off and enable the other States to grow, reach their full potential, prosper and do some catching up. In fact for WA, that is an awful lot of catching up, as such a large state, some overtaking of the smaller states like NSW and Victoria, makes sense. Similarly, NT, Tasmania and to a lesser degree SA also need a greater national focus on growth. Queensland is already doing very nicely, thank you!
One of the obvious tools for enabling that is the mechanism for distributing GST. But that presupposes that some national planning has been done.
The rape and pillage of Australia’s resources at an every increasing rate, ought to also be part of National planning. The Gulf States have controlled the flow of their oil for decades; they know it will run out, so they recognise the need to plan its exploitation, rather than just let multinational rape and pillage! States, Territories and the feds just saying yes to every application to exploit the Nations resources is a travesty!
Why aren’t we planning where we have population growth? Which States, which cities, which country and rural areas, do we need new cities and even Metro cities? Perth cannot remain all things to all West Australians in perpetuity, it certainly needs at least two other metros, with a large physical, administrative, and economic separation from Perth.