Eric Ripper

Eric Ripper

Deputy Premier; Treasurer; Minister for State Development

    Surplus to fund biggest-ever building program

    21/12/2005 12:00 AM

    Treasury is forecasting Western Australia’s booming economy will deliver another record operating surplus to help fund the State’s biggest-ever building program.

    The 2005-06 Budget mid-year review released today shows the Gallop Government is expected to invest more than $18billion in capital works over four years.

    “WA’s surpluses are being used to build 39 schools, 24 police stations and 31 hospitals and healthcare facilities,” Treasurer Eric Ripper said.

    Mr Ripper said the surplus also gave the Government the capacity to deal with emerging demands such as the community’s call to fit orange school buses with seat belts.

    The Treasurer announced the Government had set aside an estimated $87million over five years for the seat belt program, with the aim of making school buses safer for children.

    “The community said they wanted seat belts on their school buses and the surplus has given us the capacity to deliver,” he said.

    Mr Ripper said the mid-year review forecast net debt at June 30, 2006 would be about $1.3billion less than previously projected, increasing the Government’s flexibility to fund key services in future years.

    The revised operating surplus is $1.3billion for 2005-06, up from the $521million estimated at Budget time.

    Despite $2.4billion worth of tax cuts and concessions, tax revenue is now forecast to be $674million higher than expected, or $355million higher than 2004-05. Grants from the Commonwealth are also forecast to be up by $165million and mining royalties up by $103million.

    Spending on the Government’s building program is projected to be $5.2billion in 2005-06, up $489million on the Budget estimate.

    “Across the four years to 2008-09, an additional $2.4 billion has been added to the building program, bringing the four-year total to an estimated $18.2billion, up from $15.8billion at Budget time,” the Treasurer said.

    This increase includes projects such as:
    • metropolitan and country hospital capital works ($455million);
    • commitment to build the new Multipurpose Indoor Entertainment and Sports Stadium ($160million);
    • the redevelopment of Perry Lakes, which will provide new regional level rugby and basket ball facilities and a State level athletics facility ($56million);
    • expansion of the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson ($90million); and
    • additional spending on public housing through the State Housing Commission ($291million).
    “The revised estimates also responsibly make a global provision for potential cost increases across the Government’s building program, adding $553million over the period to 2008-09,” Mr Ripper said.

    The mid-year review is available from the Department of Treasury and Finance website at

    Minister's office - 9222 8788