Western Australian resources industry drives return to surplus

BHP iron

Western Australia Iron Ore. Image: BHP

Western Australia’s resources sector has delivered strong results that provided the basis for the state’s first return to budget surplus in five years.

The industry is expected to contribute $7.23 billion in 2019-20, making it the state’s third biggest revenue stream behind taxation and commonwealth grants.

The results were largely driven by an increase in resource exports, namely liquified natural gas, lithium and gold.

This combined with increased business investment in iron ore and lithium projects, leading to a predicted 3.5 per cent increase in economic growth for 2019-20.

As a result, the resources sector accounted for 23 per cent of all money flowing into the state.

Western Australia treasurer Ben Wyatt has predicted an operating surplus of $1.5 billion for the 2019-20 period and over $2 billion to 2022-23.

The McGowan government has also vouched for increased investment in job creation, targeting growth in key sectors.

It claims it is on target to meet the 150,000 jobs target, creating 37,000 new roles since coming into office two years ago.

Wyatt has praised the government’s focus on diversifying the state’s economy while also focusing on the creating of jobs and improved infrastructure.

“We are… making targeted investments in frontline services and job-creating infrastructure like roads and Metronet, for the benefit of all Western Australians,” he said.

“This Budget proves that it is possible to deliver relief to households, prioritise spending to improve key services, and build job-creating infrastructure while maintaining responsible financial management.”

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