Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA
Premier; Treasurer; Minister for Public Sector Management; Federal-State Relations
Western Australia has maintained its strong economic and financial position amid rising global uncertainty, as outlined in the 2022-23 Mid-year Review released today.
The State’s projected net operating surplus has been revised to $1.8 billion in 2022-23, significantly lower than the record $6 billion surplus in 2021 22.
The lower surplus is partly due to a lower iron ore price, combined with higher costs to salaries, including the impact of the Government’s wages policy, spending carried over from 2021 22 and additional resources directed to priority services and infrastructure projects.
Despite challenging international economic conditions, Western Australia’s economy is forecast to grow by three per cent this year, up from two per cent at Budget-time.
The State’s unemployment rate is forecast to average just 3.5 per cent in 2022-23, down from 3.75 per cent forecast at Budget-time.
In contrast to other jurisdictions, net debt is forecast to remain relatively stable over the forward estimates period. Net debt has been revised down by $1.5 billion to a projected $29.6 billion by June 2023.
In recognition of the State Government’s strong financial management, Western Australia’s credit rating was upgraded to AAA (‘stable’ outlook) by S&P Global, while Moody’s Investors Service has lifted the outlook on its Aa1 rating from ‘stable’ to ‘positive’.
This Mid-year Review includes a record $35 billion infrastructure program over 2022-23 to 2025 26.
A range of major climate change investments have also been committed to as part of the decarbonisation of the South West Interconnected System.
An additional $667 million has been set aside ($2 billion in total) to meet most of the expected cost of Perth’s third desalination plant, which will be established in Alkimos.
The State’s health system will receive an additional $511.5 million investment to connect patients with specialist care and for more initiatives to improve patient flow in emergency departments.
This also includes a significant boost in funding for health and medical research, ICT-related initiatives to address cybersecurity risk and improve efficiency via a single sign-on functionality at Digital Medical Records project sites, plus additional funding for the Bunbury Hospital Redevelopment.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"The Mid-year Review highlights WA’s continued strong economic and financial performance amid heightened international uncertainty, given high inflation and slowing global economic growth.
"We have continued to ensure that we balance the priorities of today, prepare for the future and provide capacity to respond to challenges as they arise.
"Responsible financial management continues to pay off, with WA in the strongest position possible to respond and support the economy if necessary – especially given the global uncertainty and expectation of a global recession.
"Net debt is projected to be $1.5 billion lower by the end of this financial year than expected at Budget-time, and more than $14 billion lower than budgeted under the previous government, which has helped to shield the State from the impact of rising interest rates.
"We continue to set the State up for the future with significant investments in health, transport, economic diversification and decarbonisation initiatives with a boost to jobs and businesses."
Premier’s office – 6552 5000
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