While it’s mostly good news, the WA State Budget also makes the grim prediction that no-one is getting in or out of WA until as late as June.
The WA State Budget was handed down today and comes in stark contrast to its Federal counterpart.
Rather than deficit and debt, WA posted a $1.2 billion surplus and is the only State to record positive economic growth.
And that surplus will continue to exceed $1 billion up to four years.
Treasurer Ben Wyatt said the response to COVID had positioned the economy to rebound, and indicated it would grow by 1.25 per cent in 2020/21.
But also in his assumptions was a forecast for when the hard border would come down – which was set for the June quarter next year.
Other States have signed up to a goal of being open by Christmas after urgings by Scott Morrison.
Despite the extended State lockdown, WA reaped huge benefits in job growth, recording its largest ever monthly fall in unemployment in August, with more than 71 per cent of jobs lost between February and May recovered.
Almost 90 per cent of the fall in hours worked had also been recovered.
“The COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on the Western Australian economy in the June quarter, with household spending and the labour market hit hard, however,” Mr Wyatt said.
“However, we have already seen a swift recovery in many areas of the State’s economy, which shows that our initial response through stimulus and relief measures and our WA Recovery Plan is working.
“The State Government’s success in managing the pandemic, along with the Government’s continued border and quarantine arrangements has allowed the Western Australian economy to open up faster, and for households and businesses to recommence their usual activities sooner.”
It comes after the Government invested more than $5.5 billion in its COVID recovery plan.
Premier Mark McGowan said the efforts in repairing WA’s finances over the past three years meant the State had a strong basis off which to respond to the pandemic.
“This is a testament to Western Australia getting on top of the virus early, which enabled the State Government to remove most restrictions before other large States and open up the economy to a far greater degree than anywhere else in Australia,” he said.
“Our focus is on keeping Western Australia safe and strong, by protecting the health of the community and leading the State’s economic recovery from COVID-19, through creating opportunities for local businesses and jobs for Western Australians.”
Budget measures that will affect you
The McGowan Government announced more than $1 billion in relief for households to continue the recovery out of COVID-19.
A one‑off $600 Household Electricity Credit, which will cost the Government $650 million
The recruitment of an additional 800 police officers over the next four years to boost community safety
More than $170 million in State Government funding for the Perth City Deal with the Commonwealth Government, including $150 million to help establish inner city university campuses.
The Government will also deliver more than $200 million for remote Aboriginal communities, including repairs and maintenance for Aboriginal housing, tenancy support, and delivery of essential and municipal services
Watch: WA Treasurer Ben Wyatt hands down the State Budget
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Feature image: AAP Images / Justin Benson-Cooper