Treasurer Ben Wyatt has today announced that WA’s economy is set to record a $2.2 billion surplus off the back of growing employment and a strong property market.
The 2020-21 Mid-year Review highlights that Western Australia’s strong economic recovery continues to exceed expectations, with improved revenue collections flowing through to the state’s finances.
In 2020-21 the forecast net operating surplus has been revised up to $2.2 billion, from $1.2 billion at the budget delivered in early October, with stronger than expected surpluses anticipated over the forward estimates.
Net debt projections have been revised down by $1.4 billion since the budget to $41.4 billion by 30 June 2024.
Projected taxation revenue has been revised up by $1.1 billion over the four years to 2023-24, underpinned by improved activity in the housing and labour markets, and vehicle sales.
Major initiatives included the Mid-year Review include:
- The $1.787 billion allocated to a Special Purpose Account for a new women and babies hospital.
- $1 billion for road and public transport infrastructure, announced in the Commonwealth Budget and requiring a $272 million co-contribution from the state.
- $328 million to frontline agencies for COVID-19 preparedness and impacts including hotel quarantine costs, PPE and medical supplies and enhanced cleaning.
- $155 million for Synergy to build a big battery to ensure the stability of the grid given increased variability in demand from roof-top solar.
- $152 million to expand the Peel Health Campus and to return the privatised public hospital back into public hands.
- $100 million for the state’s contribution to establish ECU’s Inner-City Campus at Yagan Square to enhance the vibrancy of the Perth CBD.
- $59 million for new primary schools to meet future demand, upgrading Derby District High and Hillarys Primary Schools.
- $56 million for measures that form part of the state’s Climate Policy including measures to increase the uptake of electric vehicles, addressing coastal erosion, carbon credits, improving household energy efficiency and more.
- $111 million will be spent on implementation of the voluntary buy-back scheme of properties for dust-impacted areas in the West End of Port Hedland.
- REIWA CEO Neville Pozzi said REIWA welcomes the news that WA is well on its way to recovery, following COVID-19.
“These results show the crucial role the WA property market plays in WA’s economic success,” Mr Pozzi said.
“While the sales market is doing well, following the uncertainty of COVID-19, the rental market is still experiencing a record shortage in stock.
“The Building Bonus will only add a very limited amount of rental stock to the market, and that is still some 12 months away.
“The government should look to introduce short-term incentives to get investors back into the established market, to provide urgent housing relief.
“Now is also an opportune time to implement long-term reforms, changing the way property taxes are paid, such as stamp duty. If those states reporting billions in deficit can review their tax systems, WA’s strong financial position means we are even better placed to do so.”
“I couldn’t agree more”, Di Addenbrooke, Director of Pulse Property Group, cited.
“As the state government enjoys the surplus, now is the time to remedy the housing shortage and part of the way forward is also having some flexibility in property taxes to encourage investors”.
To read the full media statement, click here
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