The Western Australian State Government handed down its Budget on 8 May 2014.

Against a background of declining State Revenue, the fiscal outlook for Western Australia is as follows:

  • new revenue and savings measures are expected to improve the State’s net operating balance position by $446 million in 2014-15
  • an expected reduction in net debt of $2 billion by the end of the forward estimates period
  • GST revenues will decline significantly (down 7% on 2014)
  • an expected general government operating surplus of $175 million is forecast for the budget year
  • the economy is forecasted to grow by 2.75% in 2014-15, with a projected steady increase, reaching 5% by 2017-18

Major announcements
Major announcements from the State Budget included:

  • investment of up to $23.7 billion in infrastructure over the next four years, including $6.7 billion in 2014-15. Key projects of this investment include:

    Forrestfield Airport Link = $2 billion
    Perth Stadium = $1.24 billion
    Perth City Link = $764 million
    Elizabeth Quay = $441 million
    Western Australian Museum = $428 million

  • subsidising the costs of electricity and public transport delivery by $616 million and $747 million respectively in 2014-15 
  • a $1.2 billion investment over four years to increase the capacity of current schools and build new schools, including $440 million in 2014-15
  • the imposition of a $1 billion annual spending cap on the Royalties for Regions program and directing certain funds to new infrastructure investment
  • a program of asset sales, details of which may include Kwinana Bulk Terminal and the Utah Point facility at Port Hedland Port, as well as some Water Corporation assets such as wastewater plants and electricity generation assets, such as Muja
  • an additional $447 million for the delivery of health services
  • an additional $812 million over four years to education services, including $188 million in 2015 and an additional 546 teachers

Social responsibility  
From a social responsibility perspective, the State Budget included: •an additional $180 million over four years will be allocated to disability services

  • an additional $58 million over two years will be allocated to the Perth Hills National Disability Insurance Scheme trial
  • child protection services will receive an additional $90 million over the next four years
  • an additional $46 million to mental health services
  • an allocation of $25 million over four years for WA Police to replace the existing Computer Aided Dispatch system for triple zero (000) calls

State taxes  
Announcements in relation to State taxes included:

  • a 10% increase in land tax rates from 2014-15, to offset lower than expected land tax and Metropolitan Region Improvement Tax resulting from weaker than forecast growth in land values
  • a reduction in the first home buyers transfer duty exemption threshold from $500,000 to $430,000 and phasing out of the exemption for homes valued between $430,000 and $530,000 (down from the current $600,000)