At Least WA Has Something to Show for it’s Debt

Emily Moulton of news.com.au asks whether WA squandered its ‘mining riches’:

IT HAS been billed as a once in lifetime boom, one that brought unprecedented riches to the ‘wild west’. But what has Western Australia actually got to show for the mining boom?

For many years, WA was long been regarded as the poor, long-distance cousin, the one you saw at family get-togethers but never really paid much attention to.

Aside from demonstrating her sheer ignorance to a whole state of people and the contribution they have made to our country (17% of national GDP in 2013-14), she confirms that there is indeed substance to show for the $35 billion of debt via John Poynton’s ‘top of my head’ analysis (I use the term ‘analysis’ very loosely here):

“I just wonder where the $31 billion worth of debt has gone? What has it purchased?

“On my reckoning I don’t think we have ended up with an additional $30 billion worth of infrastructure and built assets.

“The question is what happened to the rest of the money. What happened to the $30bn that hasn’t been spent on hospitals, Elizabeth Quay and the stadium. Because the reality is that income came during the boom.

“Yes the government had to spend a lot of money on roads and other infrastructure but it seems to not only have spent whatever surplus it had, but it has also borrowed a lot of money.

Also not mentioned anywhere by Emily in talking about WA’s finances is the fact that it receives only 3.4% of GST receipts, while accounting for 11% of the nation’s population. Poor cousin indeed.

Has some of the $35 billion been wasted? Absolutely: that’s what governments do. At least in this case we can point to things of substance to show for it (new hospitals, Northbridge link, Elizabeth Quay, Perth Stadium, East Perth Waterfront development, Gateway project and more).

The real question is where did our $400 billion go Emily? Do you even know what I’m talking about when I ask this? Since it will be a cold day in hell before Emily or anyone else in the mainstream media answers this, The Marcus Review will do it in the coming days. Get your sedatives ready.

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3 thoughts on “At Least WA Has Something to Show for it’s Debt”

  1. I really like this post and I agree about WA not getting recognition. Before I moved here I thought ‘Perth’ was a Scottish outpost on some Atlantic island. The infrastructure here is pretty incredible and I have to admit – built from mining revenues.

    Like

  2. WA never gets the recognition it deserves – whilst we are good enough to pay a higher proportion of GST even the weather girls reflect that the Eastern States feel superior to us – just once would I like to hear us being mentioned before Tasmania and South Australia 😡

    Like

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