Hon Troy Buswell BEc MLA

Hon Troy Buswell BEc MLA

Former Treasurer; Minister for Transport

    Government focused on financial sustainability

    25/09/2013 12:00 AM
     
    • General government operating surplus of $249million in 2012-13
    • Expense growth of 3.7% in 2012-13 - lowest rate of growth in 14 years
    • Record infrastructure investment of $7.4billion in 2012 13

    Western Australia’s Annual Report on State Finances released today reveals the lowest rate of expense growth in 14 years at 3.7 per cent. 

     

    Treasurer Troy Buswell said the annual report indicated WA’s economy grew strongly last financial year with State Final Demand at 4.9 per cent.

     

    “This is the strongest growth of all the States,” Mr Buswell said.

     

    “However, this strong economic growth has not flowed through to revenue, with total general government revenue only growing by two per cent last financial year.  Apart from the Global Financial Crisis in 2008-09, this is the lowest rate of revenue growth since 1996-97.”

     

    The Treasurer said the low rate of revenue growth was due to a significant reduction in Commonwealth grants, which were down $823million compared to the year before, including the State’s GST revenue falling by $518million.

     

    The State Government recorded a general Government sector operating surplus of $249million for 2012-13, in line with the $239million estimated surplus contained in the 2013-14 State Budget.  

     

    “The operating surplus was largely because of various measures implemented by the State Government to rein in recurrent expenditure growth throughout the year,” Mr Buswell said.

     

    “Reducing our spending is crucial to putting WA’s finances on a sustainable footing which is difficult at a time of unprecedented pressure on our infrastructure and services.”

     

    Several rounds of savings measures implemented during 2012-13 delivered savings of $380million.

     

    The State Government continued its unprecedented investment in infrastructure with spending totalling $7.4billion for 2012-13. 

     

    “Our infrastructure investment is transforming WA by building key projects like Fiona Stanley Hospital, Perth City Link and the new children’s hospital as well delivering key services by spending $1billion on electricity transmission infrastructure and $475million on schools,” the Treasurer said.

     

    “This is essential spending necessary to support the State’s rapidly growing population.”

     

    Net debt for the total public sector increased to $18.2billion at June 30, 2013, which is around $300million lower than estimated in the recent State Budget. 

     

    Despite the recent loss of the triple-A credit rating by Standard and Poor’s, current net debt levels remain affordable, with net interest costs as a share of revenue (for the total non-financial public sector) reaching 2.3 per cent in 2012-13, well below the Government’s target limit of 4.5 per cent.

     

    The State Government is focused on developing a plan to return the State to a triple-A credit rating, which includes a reconsideration of timing on all of our major infrastructure projects, a review of our Asset Investment Program, public sector workforce reform and implementation of a new wages policy.

     

    The 2012-13 Annual Review of State Finances is available from the Department of Treasury website at www.treasury.wa.gov.au

     

            Fact File

    • Revenue increased by just 2% in 2012-13, significantly down on average revenue growth of 8.5% over the past decade
    • Reflecting tight spending management, expense growth of 3.7% was the lowest growth since 1998 99
    • Spending on the State’s Asset Investment Program totalled $7.4billion in 2012-13, the highest level of State infrastructure spending on record

    Treasurer's office - 6552 6400