Hon Ben Wyatt LLB MSc MLA

Hon Ben Wyatt LLB MSc MLA

Former Treasurer; Minister for Finance; Aboriginal Affairs; Lands

    Western Australian economy resilient in the face of COVID-19

    2/09/2020 12:55 PM
    • Western Australia records better than expected economic results in 2019-20 underpinned by the State's hard border and strong COVID-19 response
    • Western Australia the only State to experience economic growth in 2019-20
    • Business investment grew by 9.3 per cent - the strongest growth in eight years
    • Growth in WA's domestic economy is the strongest result since 2012-13 

    Western Australia's hard border and strong COVID-19 response has buttressed the local economy to post the strongest economic growth of any State in 2019-20.


    Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released today show Western Australia's domestic economy was the only State to experience growth for the 2019-20 year, growing 1.1 per cent.


    Today's figures also show WA confronted the COVID-19 pandemic from a position of strength, with growth in the State's domestic economy in 2019-20 the strongest result in seven years.


    This growth in the midst of a pandemic was underpinned by strong business investment, which grew by 9.3 per cent, in part driven by the mining sector which was able to continue operating throughout the pandemic. Economic activity was also supported by government support and stimulus measures.


    The economic results released today demonstrate the importance of WA's hard border closure for protecting the health of Western Australians and the health of the local economy.


    States with open borders faired significantly worse than those with closed borders in the June quarter, with New South Wales and Victoria both contracting by around 8.5 per cent. This compares to a six per cent contraction in State Final Demand for WA in the June quarter.


    The McGowan Government continues to implement its $5.5 billion Recovery Plan to drive WA's economic and social recovery across different sectors throughout the whole State, to ensure we can recover, stronger than ever.


    Comments attributed to Treasurer Ben Wyatt:


    "The economic impact of COVID-19 is certainly the most significant in our lifetimes. However, today's economic figures show our proactive economic response is protecting our economy.


    "Our hard border has allowed us to open up our domestic economy sooner, to restore confidence and allow businesses to restart and Western Australians to get back to work.


    "As other States have discovered, and today's results highlight, taking a more reactive approach to suppress outbreaks as they emerge, is incredibly risky not only to public health but the economy. 


    "Constantly changing the rules to deal with outbreaks is bad for business confidence and, in turn bad, for the economy as we have seen in States with open borders.


    "The McGowan Government is taking action with its $5.5 billion Recovery Plan to return our economy to its pre-COVID growth trajectory as quickly as possible, to support WA businesses and get Western Australians back to work.


    "WA confronted the COVID-19 challenge from a position of strength having turned around the massive economic contractions under the Liberal National Government, which remain the biggest annual falls on record."


    Treasurer's office - 6552 5900