- Budget fully funds WA Recovery Plan to strengthen our economy and create jobs
- Economy growing at a faster pace than other States, driven by the comprehensive recovery plan, hard border and better health outcomes
- Western Australia's economy is expected to grow by 1.25 per cent in 2020-21
- Follows growth in the State's domestic economy of 1.1 per cent in 2019-20 - with Western Australia the only State to record positive growth
- The $600 WA Household Electricity Credit to help continue WA's economic recovery
- 2020-21 State Budget is focused on keeping Western Australia safe and strong
Western Australia's response to the COVID-19 pandemic has positioned the economy to rebound faster and stronger than first expected, with the State Budget today revealing the local economy is expected to grow by 1.25 per cent in 2020-21.
In 2019-20, Western Australia was the only State to record positive growth in the domestic economy, despite the significant impact of the pandemic.
The forecast for continued growth is supported by a range of economic indicators that have already returned to, and in most cases exceeded, pre-COVID levels, including household and business confidence, retail trade and jobs advertised online. Across most of these indicators, the pace of recovery in Western Australia is leading the nation.
Importantly, Western Australia has also benefited from the strength of its resources sector with investment and production largely unaffected throughout the pandemic.
Employment is also tracking strongly after the initial impact of COVID-19 forced many parts of the economy to close resulting in job losses.
While there is still more work to be done, the State recorded its largest ever monthly fall in unemployment in August.
As at August 2020, more than 71 per cent of jobs lost between February and May 2020 had been recovered. Almost 90 per cent of the fall in hours worked had also been recovered.
The resilience of the economy throughout the pandemic has been strongly supported by the immediate response measures included in the McGowan Government's more than $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan.
The comprehensive plan is supporting job-creating sectors including construction, manufacturing, tourism and hospitality, renewable energy, education and training, agriculture, conservation and mining.
Many measures in the WA Recovery Plan have already directly supported jobs and businesses, including:
- a one-off $2,500 electricity credit available for small businesses and charities that consume less than 50 megawatt hours per annum;
- $484 million in payroll tax relief for Western Australian businesses, including a one-off $17,500 grant for some small businesses, payroll tax exemptions and a four-month payroll tax waiver;
- $20,000 building bonus and extension of the off-the-plan transfer duty rebate to kick-start the building industry;
- a waiver of small business licence fees; and
- rent relief for commercial tenants of government agencies.
More jobs are expected to be created through the McGowan Government's record-breaking Asset Investment Program, which totals $27.1 billion over the next four years.
Job creation is being further supported through measures to reskill the workforce by providing assistance, through reduced fees and free short courses, for people to attend upgraded TAFE colleges.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"The strong efforts around financial repair and supporting the WA economy over the past three years has meant that Western Australia had a strong economic and fiscal basis to respond to the impacts of the virus.
"This is a testament to Western Australia getting on top of the virus early, which enabled the State Government to remove most restrictions before other large States and open up the economy to a far greater degree than anywhere else in Australia.
"Our focus is on keeping Western Australia safe and strong, by protecting the health of the community and leading the State's economic recovery from COVID-19, through creating opportunities for local businesses and jobs for Western Australians.
"This is why we are concentrating our efforts on supporting businesses and creating a pipeline of jobs, and fast-tracking hundreds of State Government projects right across the State to boost the economy."
Comments attributed to Treasurer Ben Wyatt:
"The COVID-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on the Western Australian economy in the June quarter, with household spending and the labour market hit hard.
"However, we have already seen a swift recovery in many areas of the State's economy, which shows that our initial response through stimulus and relief measures and our WA Recovery Plan is working.
"The State Government's success in managing the pandemic, along with the Government's continued border and quarantine arrangements has allowed the Western Australian economy to open up faster, and for households and businesses to recommence their usual activities sooner.
"Creating WA jobs is the Government's number one priority as we emerge from the pandemic."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Treasurer's office - 6552 5900