Everything you need to know about the WA Budget


by Kaelen Ruland

The State Government is planning for a deficit of $1.3 billion in 2018-19.

Total expenditure will reach $30.5 billion, with two thirds budgeted for health, education, training, and community support and safety.

WA will receive 35 per cent of its funding from the Federal Government.

Economy and WA Jobs

by Ben Lombardo

The State Government has promised economic growth through improved business confidence, the funding of programs and the creation of local jobs.

It says business confidence has reached its highest level in more than seven years and RSM Australia Agribusiness Specialist Geoff Hall says WA’s economy is on the road to recovery.

“Since the mining crash some years ago, mining is now getting back on its feet,” Mr Hall said.

“Commodity prices are better, farmers generally have had a good year last year, and the economy is tracking a lot better than it has in the past.”

The State Government will also invest $45 million in building WA’s Grains Research and Development Capacity’s program, and Mr Hall says this will help the state’s farmers.

“Grain production is such a huge export earner for the state and any investment in that for West Australian farmers would be most welcome,” he said.

The State Government says it plans to support local businesses to create more local jobs.

“There’s a lot of money being spent on infrastructure, particularly roads and regional roads, and that obviously takes big contractors to complete that work and they need workers to do that,” Mr Hall said.

“In terms of job creation opportunities, METRONET is an ongoing significant project, and they’re talking about railcars being constructed and put together in Perth for it”.


by Charlotte Saxon

Treasurer Ben Wyatt confirmed $22.2 billion would be committed to education spending over the next four years, accounting for 17 per cent of the state’s expenditure.

The State Government plans to spend $469 million on school infrastructure in 2018-19 – a $4 million increase on 2017-18.

Eight new primary schools and four new secondary schools will be built by 2020, while 14 regional schools will receive upgrades.

Students from regional WA communities will have more education assistants and extra Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers in their schools.

$73.5 million will be invested over four years to cater for the increasing number of students attending public schools.


by Alexandra Faulkner

WA Alliance for a Clean Environment co-ordinator Jane Bremmer says she is disappointed with the Budget and its failure to address climate change and renewable resources issues.

“There’s not a lot in this Budget for the environment,” Ms Bremmer said.

“Important issues of climate change aren’t really addressed… and at this point in time it’s really disappointing because our whole economy and society is based on natural capital.

“The dinosaur in the room here is climate change and this Budget doesn’t really address that.”

The State Government trumpeted its key environmental strategies as being a ban on single-use plastic bags, a new container deposit scheme and $31 million in spending on natural resource programs.

But Ms Bremmer says the new container deposit scheme is a collection scheme and will not reduce waste, while the plastic bag ban is old news and is not a game changer at all in terms of waste.



by Ruby Wheeler

A total of $37 billion will be spent by the State Government on health over the next four years.

$655 million will go towards health infrastructure and $182.3 million for the Patient Assisted Travel Scheme to support regional West Australians travelling for medical treatment.

Royal Perth Hospital will also receive upgrades, while Joondalup Health Campus will receive $158 million towards its expansion.

The McGowan Government will commit $3.8 billion over the next four years to mental health and alcohol and drug-related priorities, including $12.8 million for the Northwest Drug and Alcohol Support Program and $1.6 million towards Regional Men’s Health.

Money will also go towards developing, upgrading and refurbishing residential aged care facilities, with $10.6 million towards a residential aged care facility in Carnarvon.

Social Services

by Amy Ewers and Sarah Mozely 

Electricity prices will rise seven per cent and water and sewerage prices will rise by 5.5 per cent, costing the average household an extra $300 per year.

The State Government has committed $394 million to creating more affordable housing options, including 320 units of social housing and 400 units of affordable housing linked to the development of Metronet Hubs.

The end of Commonwealth support means funding for remote Aboriginal housing and homelessness services remains uncertain.

Western Australian Council of Social Service chief executive officer Louise Giolitto says she is disappointed with the State Government’s commitment to supporting families.

“Frankly, we are underwhelmed by WA Labor’s second budget. While we appreciate the need for a financial rebalancing, this Budget is not delivering the commitment we had been led to expect in addressing hardship and supporting families who are doing it tough,” Ms Giolitto said.


Tourism and Hospitality

by Pam Boland

The McGowan Labor Government has allocated $425 million over five years toward destination marketing and event tourism in Western Australia.

This represents a 50 per cent increase for this period on the amount allocated in the 2016-17 budget.

Plans include improvements and upgrades to the ports in Fremantle, Broome and Geraldton to encourage more cruise companies to visit WA.

Significant liquor reforms have also been announced, aiming to make it easier for local businesses, and create more jobs and activity in the hospitality industry.



by Briana Walker

The State Government will commit $2.55 billion towards transport. It is putting $21 million towards the Metronet program which aims to extend Perth’s passenger railway network. This brings the total spent on the project to $3.6 billion after the Federal Government committed $1.1 billion in funding earlier this week.

More than $50 million will be allocated to continued planning work on the Morley-Ellenbrook Line, Byford Rail Extension, Midland Station Project and a new Karnup Station, with a further $750 million allocated to the projects as they are developed. A $1.6 billion project will deliver 264 new Metronet railcars, at least half of which are to be manufactured in WA.

The State Government will spend $2 billion on regional road safety, with $70 million for upgrades on roads with a high risk of road accidents.

The spend on cycling infrastructure is also being increased by $6 million, bringing the total to $135 million.



by Amy Brown

The State Government has cancelled plans to modify the basement in the new museum, resulting in a saving of $32.4 million.

$6.5 million has been allocated to upgrade infrastructure and the front of house at His Majesty’s Theatre.

About $500,000 will be allocated to the Contemporary Music Fund to meet the State Government’s election commitment.

The Art Gallery of Western Australia has been allocated $10 million less than in the last Budget.



by Amy Brown

WA’s community, sporting and recreation facilities will receive about $4 million more than in last years Budget, as the State Government works to attract as many sporting and entertainment events as possible to the new Optus Stadium.

The West Australian Sports Centre Trust will get more than $200 million in funding – a $40 million increase on 2017-18.

The West Australian Institute of Sport will receive the same allocation as in 2017-18.

WAIS will also receive funding to support its Wheelchair Basketball and Great Southern Centre for Outdoor Recreation Excellence programs.