Good Times Predicted To Continue

Good Times Predicted To Continue

Western Australia Treasurer Christian Porter

Report Predicts WA Will Continue To Prosper For Decades

Victor P Taffa

Treasurer Christian Porter today welcomed a report by Deloitte Access Economics highlighting the continued strength of the Western Australian economy and good prospects for further jobs and export growth.

The Quarterly business outlook reaffirmed WA as the driving force behind the nation’s economy and said the State would continue to flourish for decades to come on the back of quarter of a trillion dollar investment projects in the pipeline.

The report follows last week’s release of Commsec’s Economic Insights report, which showed the WA economy had grown by 3.2 % in the March Quarter, with the State also achieving the nation’s lowest unemployment rate of 4.2 %.

Treasurer Porter said the Liberal-National Government’s strong financial management was providing the level of confidence needed to encourage growth and investment in WA.

“Deloitte’s pointed to the fact that WA is seeing the planning and implementation of lifelong assets as a sign that the State’s residents will benefit from these planning decisions for years to come.” Treasurer Porter said.

“Key figures from the report’s economic forecasts showed WA will increase its international exports to a staggering $165 Billion by 2015-16, with the unemployment rate to hold steady below 4% from 2012-13 onwards.”

The Treasurer said the State’s engineering sector could expect good times ahead, with Deloitte’s predicting the demand for the sector would continue to grow for some time, led by projects such as:

• The $43 Billion Gorgon LNG Project;
• BHP Billiton’s Rapid Growth iron ore project, with Stages 5 and 6 worth $6.7 Billion and $3.2 Billion respectively;
• $8.9 Billion Prelude FLNG project being undertaken by Shell;
• $7.3 Billion Roy Hill iron ore project that Hancock Prospecting will begin in the near future.

“Deloitte’s estimates that WA contributes 14.9 % of the overall output in the Australian economy, while currently only having approximately 10.3 % of the nation’s population. This is projected to rise to 15.4 % by 2015-16.” Treasurer Porter said.

“Once again, this highlights the injustice faced by this State at the hands of the Federal Government.”

“At the same time as WA is significantly expanding, we are being penalised through the GST redistribution process and that is putting future job growth and economic prosperity for Western Australian families at risk.”

“If the State does not start receiving the Federal Government funding it deserves, then our infrastructure program which is servicing this projected growth will need to be wound back.”

The Treasurer said with the State’s GST relativity projected to be 33 % or a third of WA’s population share, by 2014-15.

Treasurer Porter said the GST system was perverse and needed to be reformed to ensure successful growing States such as WA were not penalised simply because they raised revenue from mining while other States raised revenue from socially destructive Poker machines and received no GST penalty.

The Treasurer said any system which rewarded some States financially for raising money from gambling but penalised others for growing their productive industries was broken.