A return to surplus in WA State Budget welcomed as a sign of increasing confidence and tracking towards growth

The Property Council of Australia’s WA Division congratulates the McGowan Labor Government on its strong fiscal management resulting in the first budget surplus in five years.

The State has returned to surplus earlier than expected with a net operating surplus of $553 million in 2018-19 and net debt $4.1 billion lower than the previous government’s estimates; resulting in a saving of $508 million in interest payments.

“The Property Council of Australia in WA is very pleased to see the State return to surplus, with strong economic growth forecasted over the coming period. This is an important signal for industry because it demonstrates that Western Australia is tracking toward positive growth. WA Property Council Executive Director, Sandra Brewer said.

“It is also pleasing to see continued significant investment into key infrastructure projects such as Westport and METRONET and that the State Government expects to see a sizeable increase in activity around these initiatives with further acknowledgement from the Treasurer wanting to see more action in this space,

“Increased investment across the infrastructure portfolio created 37,000 jobs since the McGowan Government came to office and with further good policy decisions, there is an expectation that the target of creating 150,000 new jobs may be achieved by 2024,

“We welcome the announcement of the Keystart stimulus package that will temporarily relax loan eligibility by increasing existing income limits for those trying to access affordable housing options. New housing construction commencements are very weak compared to historical averages and this initiative, while only temporary, will help to stimulate building activity within the market,

“There is a positive outlook on jobs growth which has been tipped to rise from 2% at 2018-19 to 3.5% in the 2019-20 financial year and a continued rate of growth at 3% for the budget outyears,

“With a Federal Election coming up there were no surprises such as increases in land taxes or stamp duty.