Today the Commonwealth Treasurer announced that only the ACT will pay the new disaster levy. “Queensland is clearly exempt, because it had the cyclone”, Wayne Swan stated. He continued, “similarly, Victoria is exempt due to the recent flooding.” Western Australia has been exempted because of recent bush fires.
Lobbying by New South Wales premier Kristina Keneally has paid off, with the Treasurer also exempting everyone in the most populous state of the Commonwealth. “I listened to her arguments, and I agree that those in New South Wales should be exempt because they are too stupid to realise that house prices do not always increase; they have mortgages, and they need to be paid.”
The Northern Territory as been exempted. “It is not like anyone there earns any money, and we cold not find them if we wanted to”, Swan said, attempting humour.
Tasmania is also set to skip the levy. Lara Giddings is understood to have entered negotiations with the New Zealand Government. While no release has been made to the media, it is understood that the premier is wanting to remove Tasmania from the Commonwealth and seeking membership of Australia's eastern neighbour. An unconfirmed source said “it is not like Australia will miss us.”
Adelaide is holding a Cheer Up Australia Festival. “We are coping with the recent problems the way South Australians always cope with problem”, said festival organiser Bob Young. “Maybe if everyone cheers up thinks will not be so bad!” Swan confirmed that the festival will be taken as South Australia's contribution to the disaster relief.
Finally, the ACT has had a 2000% increase in incomes, due to higher incomes for civil servants. The treasurer described it as “coincidental” that the increase would be entirely taken up by what has been the new levy. He was also unable to be drawn by where the money would come from to pay for the income rise. “I am confident the Commonwealth will balance its books,” he stated before leaving the press conference.