Annual report on WA’s finances reveals record $6 billion surplus

An audit of Western Australia’s finances has found an extra $344 million in operating surplus, taking the total surplus to $6 billion for the last financial year, a new Australian record.

The better-than-expected outcome is a result of expenditure being $576 million lower than what was forecast in the budget, the 2021-22 Annual Report on State Finances has revealed.

However, revenue is down $232 million, which the government said was mainly because of lower royalty collections.

It plans to use the extra money to continue to withdraw state debt and fund infrastructure, as well as fund public sector wages.

A crowd of people with placards, with many of them holding up the number five.
Thousands of public sector workers from the Public Sector Alliance rallied outside Parliament House in August. (ABC News: Cason Ho)

Public servants have been campaigning for better wages for months, with nurses and childcare workers among those holding rallies and stop work meetings.

The government’s latest offer is a 3 percent increase for those on salaries above $104,000 and up to 6.2 percent for those on lower incomes, in addition to a one-off $3,000 cost of living payment for all.

Premier Mark McGowan said WA’s economy had grown more than any other state during the pandemic.

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