WA Super News
WA State Budget 2017
With the release of the WA State Budget recently, the Treasurer announced that all sections of the WA Community would be impacted. Here are some of the key take-outs.
The Good news
- Tourism - additional $87 million over four years for events and destination marketing, bumping the spend up to $425 million over five years
- Transport - $1.3 billion over forward estimates for Metronet stage one projects, including the Thornlie-Cockburn link and Yanchep rail extension
- Schools - $465 million to build new schools and $119 million over four years to boost teaching support. There will be 120 additional teachers from next year and 300 more education assistants over three years
- Mental health - $61.7 million over four years for prevention and treatment services
The Bad News
- Big business - a five-year payroll tax scale beginning in July 2018 to raise $435 million, so employers with a payroll between $100 million and $1.5 billion will face a marginal tax rate of six per cent, while those with a payroll of $2 billion will face an additional $12 million tax
- Large gold producers - the first 2500 ounces of gold will no longer be royalty free for miners producing more than that. Expected additional revenue will be $392 million
- Public sector – 3,000 voluntary redundancies, with priority given to agencies subject to the recent major consolidation
- Gambling - a new point of consumption wagering tax for online betting companies, which will be charged 15 per cent of net wagering revenue from January 2019
- Foreign residential property buyers - a surcharge of four per cent to pay for a freeze of TAFE fees, starting in January 2019.
Thin pickings for the regions
The Budget delivered thin pickings for the regions, although renewable energy, tourism and roads were at least thrown a few morsels.
Perhaps the most significant outcome, although well-flagged, was the Government’s decision to transition the Royalties for Regions program to cover recurrent spending.
Road infrastructure commitments that were met included $50 million to upgrade the Karratha to Tom Price Road, $14m to dual lane the Great Eastern Highway in Kalgoorlie-Boulder and $12.5m for the Bunbury Outer Ring Road.
In energy developments, the Albany-Bunbury gas pipeline project is, as expected, now officially dead with the $19.5m reallocated to the Albany Wave Energy Project and major new renewable projects in Collie.
There was mixed news on tourism, with funding for Caravan and Camping reduced and expected to finish this financial year. There is funding for the new Murujuga National Park and the new Aboriginal Ranger program. The latter has been allocated $20m over five years to establish the program.
To find out what is in the budget for you and your region, click here.
Chamber and Commerce and Industry WA