The McGowan Government has unveiled the State Budget today, with WA Treasurer Ben Wyatt pledging to create jobs and grow the economy.
This coming financial year, WA Government will have a net deficit of $906 million, with a total revenue of $29.57 billion, and $30.48 billion in expenditure.
However, the government will return to a record surplus of almost $1.3 billion by 2020-21 financial year.
So far, WA’s overall GST share has increased to 47.3 cents in the dollar, with additional Commonwealth grants representing a total 35% share of the State Government’s revenue.
The government’s recurring expenses growth has reached to a new low of 0.9%, average expenses growth is only 1.2% comparing to an average of 6.7% in the past decade.
Voluntary redundancies is on target as 2,000 positions are expected to be finalised by the 30th, June this year, payroll tax increases for large employers will be on the 1st, July, 2018.
The Treasurer said the McGowan government’s second budget is a responsible plan to get the finances back on track.
“Clearly, the McGowan Labor government’s plan for the state is starting to pay dividends,” treasurer Ben Wyatt said.
“The 2018-19 budget has been continuing to deliver on our election commitments and investing in critical infrastructure, while putting the state’s finances back on track.”
“… Every single one of the McGowan Labor government’s budgets will be framed by responsible financial management.”
Household Budgets To Rise By 4.8%.
WA Households will have to fork out an extra $292.07 this year on water, gas, electricity costs.
The figure includes an increase of vehicle registration by an average of $28.56 per car, plus an increase of $3.10 for drivers licence.
Meanwhile, the household budget increases this year is significantly lower than the average of 6%, down to 4.8% in the 2018-19 financial year.
The government’s $2.2 billion worth of utility concessions including, dependent child rebate, country water subsidies, seniors water concessions, and the Hardship Utilities Grants program (HUGS) will continue.
Courts & Tribunal fees will also increase by 7.5% (totalling $11.2 million) and will include court security upgrades.
These changes will effective from the 1st, July, 2018.
Health & Education Infrastructure To Receive Significant Upgrades
A total investment of $468.7 million will be invested in projects to improve public schools in WA.
The project’s aim is to modernise education facilities, providing student support and create local jobs for West Australians.
Four new primary schools will be built in Baldivis North ($16.3 million), Banksia Grove East including early childhood facilities ($23 million), Byford South East ($18.9 million), and Caversham South ($17.3 million).
Two other secondary schools under construction in Butler North and South Baldivis will be opened in 2020 and 2019 with a total cost of $100 million.
Major upgrades in Yanchep Secondary College ($13.7 million), Mount Hawthorn Primary ($4.5 million), Camboon Primary ($250k), Tapping Primary ($400k) will continue.
Regional Schools including Cape Naturaliste College ($30.1 million), Margaret River High School ($30 million), Canarvon Community College ($26.6 million), Albany Secondary High ($9.8 million), Collie Senior High ($7.5 million), John Willcock College refurbishment ($20 million), and South Bunbury Primary School will receive an upgrade of $3 million.
Health will receive an overall $37.5 million this year, with increase funding of $275.8 million in the next five years with hospital infrastructure upgrades.
WA’s oldest Hospital, Royal Perth Hospital will receive $11.8 million extra funding to carry the mental Health Observation Area Plus, as part of the McGowan Government’s election promise on Medihotel and innovation research hub.
The MHOA Plus will have a direct link with Emergency Department patients who may require mental support and treatment.
The MHOA Plus operation will begin by December 2019.
Urgent Care Clinic will also be established at Royal Perth Hospital.
Both metro and regional hospital will receive upgrades, they include $158 million for Joondalup Health Campus, $73.3 million for Geraldton Health Campus’ expansion, 24.9 million for Osborne Park, $10.2 Million for Midwest Community Mental Health services, $9.3 million on alcohol & drugs rehab beds in the South-West, $2.2 million for protective equipment for health and security staff, $1.8 million on family birth centre in Fiona Stanley Hospital, and $500k for the redevelopment of Valley View Age Care in Collie.
METRONET To Go Ahead With Solid Investments
The McGowan Government’s METRONET railway commitment is consolidated with a total of $3.6 billion allocated to the projects by both Federal & State Governments.
$750 million will be brought forward to the budget estimates for project development, it includes State Government funding $21 million.
Railway lines including Thornlie to Cockburn ($536 million), Yanchep extension ($420 million), the Forrestfield Airport ($515 million) will receive significant funding.
$50 million will be allocated to the planning stages of Morley Ellenbrook railway link, Byford rail, Midland & Karnup station upgrades.
More Investments Into Law & Order
WA will have a new Crime Statistic sand Research Unit formed, with collaborations from the Department Of Justices, WA Police, Treasury, Legal Aid to analyse offenders progress as they proceed through the justice system.
The unit will cost $4.8 million dollars and funded by Department Of Justice.
Two new magistrates positions will be created to relieve pressure within the Magistrates Court, after time to trial and pending cases since 2011-12 increase by 62% and 38.9%.
$21.5 million will be committed to regional youth justice services in the Kimberley and Pilbara.
New facilities on the Armadale Police and Court House Complex completion date has been brought forward to October 2021.