Treasurer Christian Porter said Commsec’s ranking of Western Australia’s economic growth as the strongest in the nation reflected sound State Government management.
Results published in Commsec’s latest Economic Insights report showed WA’s economy grew by 3.2 per cent in the March quarter - the biggest quarterly increase in State final demand in almost four years.
“Our economy grew by 6.8 per cent through the year to March 2011, with an increase in business investment its main driver,” Mr Porter said.
“The State’s unemployment rate was 4.2 per cent in June, well below the national average of 4.9 per cent, and the lowest of all States.”
The report showed WA continued to benefit from the strength of mining and engineering sectors which drive commercial construction, exports and overall economic growth.
“The assessment is consistent with other commentators and the WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry has revised its own forecast of the State’s 2010-11 economic growth from five per cent to 6.25 per cent,” the Treasurer said.
“However, while the recent analysis confirms the Government’s strong economic management, there is no room for complacency as conditions across industries are mixed and uneven and the strength of the WA economy is under threat from proposed new Federal Government taxes.
“The proposed Mineral Rent Resource Tax and Carbon Tax have added uncertainty to many of the State’s industries already challenged by the rising Australian dollar and the growing risks in a volatile global economy.”
Mr Porter said events in some European Union countries, continued tensions in the Middle East and the precarious nature of the United States’ economy underscored the global economy’s fragility.
“All these factors show up as potential risks for WA,” he said.
“This State will continue to oppose Federal Government policies that add increased risk and barriers to WA’s economic growth and we shall continue to invest in the infrastructure and skills our economy needs.
“This includes targeted investment in energy, water, transport infrastructure and additional training places. Furthermore, the Government is pursuing a strategy of skilled migration to fill jobs which are beyond the current workforce’s capacity.
“During a period of diminishing GST payments, the Government has managed the competing infrastructure requirements of the State’s increasing population while sustaining a high level of service delivery. The Government has managed this while maintaining its triple-A credit rating and continuing to deliver strong operating surpluses over this budget period.”
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