WA State Budget 2021 – 2022
Posted on 9th September 2021 by Ashley Dawson
The McGowan Government has used its strong surplus position off the back of a booming resources sector to fund important projects and initiatives that will set up Western Australia’s long-term future.
The Pre-Election Financial Projections Statement forecast an estimated 2020-21 surplus of $3.1 billion. The surplus has now been revised up to $5.6 billion on the back of a stronger economy and increased revenue.
This financial year, 2021-22, a $2.8 billion surplus is forecast, with strong surpluses expected to continue across the forward estimates.
The State’s net debt is expected to fall for a third consecutive year in 2021-22 to $32.1 billion, more than $11 billion lower than the $43.7 billion projected under the last Liberal National Government.
As a result of the stronger budget position, the surplus will continue to be used to help fund the McGowan Government’s record infrastructure program and key service priorities. The Budget allocates spending to the following initiatives:
- Health and mental health across the State – $1.9 billion
- Funding more beds, doctors and nurses and easing pressure on EDs;
- Funding the construction of a new Women and Babies Hospital – $1.8 billion
- Works on the new hospital at the QEII medical precinct are expected to begin in 2023, creating more than 1,400 local construction jobs;
- Additional support to respond to COVID-19 – $1 billion
- Taking the State’s total investment to $9 billion, including equipping our frontline services, supporting businesses and households;
- The new Social Housing Investment Fund – $750 million
- The single largest investment in the State’s history which, combined with other initiatives in the Budget, will deliver more than 1,900 additional homes to vulnerable Western Australians. This takes the total number of social housing dwellings to be delivered over the next four years to 3,300;
- The establishment of a Climate Action Fund – $750 million
- $350 million delivered for the expansion of the softwood plantation estate, $256 million for various renewable energy initiatives and $144 million of other climate-related initiatives;
- The creation of a Digital Capability Fund – $500 million
- Funds to ensure key agency service delivery keeps pace with public expectations and to protect against cyber security;
- The new Westport Project – $400 million
- Funding to be spent over four years for strategic land purchases required for the development of a new port in the Kwinana industrial area and the road corridor connecting to the future port;
- Keeping household fees and charges low – $397 million
- Delivering on the election commitment to keep household electricity and water charges tied to the rate of inflation and provide support to people most in need.
In addition, $1.4 billion in 2021-22 revenue has been quarantined to help deliver WA’s next major water source. The funding will be used as a significant down payment for a new desalination plant, subject to a business case in a future Budget, with construction potentially beginning by 2024-25.
The 2021-22 Budget delivers record infrastructure investment of $30.7 billion, including investments in road and rail, hospitals and schools and community based infrastructure.
This includes a record $9.1 billion investment in regional projects, and regional WA will also share in the benefits from billions of dollars on State-wide infrastructure projects and programs.
For more information on the WA State Budget, visit https://www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au