Western Australia’s Treasurer Eric Ripper yesterday handed down the state’s 2008-09 Budget.
The 2008-09 Budget marked the eighth consecutive balanced budget for Western Australia, and the third consecutive year of above 6% growth.
The Government’s expenditure will rise by 7.7 per cent in 08-09 for a total of $18 billion.
The three major planks of the budget are extensive capital works, housing affordability and tax cuts.
Key initiatives of the budget include:
- $1.2 billion tax cuts over the next four years;
- Cuts in land tax and payroll tax, and a bring-forward of the motor vehicle stamp duty cut announced in last year’s budget;
- Stamp duty on the purchase of a median-priced house cut by 15% from 1 July 2008, to assist affordable housing
A record $7.6 billion has been allocated for capital works in 2008-09 including:
- $1.2 billion on electricity infrastructure to meet the needs of our rapidly growing economy, including commencement of over 500km of new transmission lines;
- $1.1 billion on water infrastructure, including commencement of the $955 million Southern Seawater Desalination Plant;
- $810 million on roads;
- $502 million on hospitals and other health facilities;
- $377 million on ports to expand export capacity;
- $347 million on schools and TAFE colleges
$26.1 billion over four years has been allocated to:
- New major stadium at Kitchener Park;
- New museum on the former East Perth power station site;
- Perth Waterfront development
- $1.2 billion has been allocated for affordable housing including more than $200 million in grants for community and Indigenous housing to be provided as part of an integrated social housing system
In 2008-09, $247 million will be spent on health, including:
- Increased spending on mental health;
- Better pay for nurses;
- Initiatives to address emergency department demand;
- Using the State’s surplus to fund $1.76 billion Fiona Stanley Hospital
Law and Order
In 2008-09, $138 million will be spent on law and order, including:
- Improved pay for police officers;
- Crime Regional Response Teams to investigate serious cases of child abuse and other issues facing indigenous communities
- Funding had been increased to $48 million, with additional caseworkers and implementation of mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse
In 2008-09, $135 million will be spent on education and training including:
- Improved wages and conditions for teachers;
- Additional places for apprentices and trainees