2017-18 WA State Budget

7 September 2017

This briefing note has been prepared by our Perth-based partner, bipartisan strategic advisory firm GRA Everingham. For more information, visit www.graeveringham.com.au.


  • $2.3 billion deficit forecast for 2017-18, following revenue write-downs of $5b since the Pre-election Financial Projections Statement in March.
  • McGowan Government has broken election promise not to increase taxes, with hike in payroll tax, increase in gold royalties and point of consumption gambling tax.
  • State debt ballooning to $43.8b by 2019-20, up from $37.8b this financial year.
  • Budget will return to surplus of $1.3b in 2020-21, a year later than Labor’s election commitment.

Government takes axe to Royalties for Regions and three thousand public sector redundancies expected as Labor seeks to pay for $3.7b of election commitments.


2017-18 State Budget Overview
2017-18 WA State Budget – Jobs and Diversifying the Economy
2017-18 WA State Budget – Transport and Infrastructure; Energy; Water
2017-18 WA State Budget – Community Services
2017-18 State Budget – Eric Ripper Opinion


Treasurer Ben Wyatt has handed down the first Budget of the McGowan Labor Government vowing to overhaul the State’s finances after years of debt and deficit.

In his speech to State Parliament, Mr Wyatt called on WA business to help return the State’s fiscal position to good health while announcing a hike in gold royalties and an increase in payroll tax.

He has delivered a Budget that raises taxes on business and industry to soften the blow of fiscal austerity on suburban Mums and Dads, who flocked to the party at the State election.

The Treasurer said the Budget “addresses the fiscal legacy we have inherited” and “strikes the balance of delivering on our election commitments, of creating jobs and getting the State’s finances back on track.”

WA’s Budget is predicted to be $2.3b in the red this financial year, with deficits above $1b predicted each year until a forecast return to surplus in 2020-21, one year later than Labor’s promise of surplus by 2019-20.

Premier Mark McGowan said the Budget was an effort to get WA’s finances back onto a sustainable footing after years of multi-billion dollar deficits, including a record $3b last year.

The Premier and the Treasurer will be hoping for community understanding of the state’s financial difficulties and voter agreement that the budget measures are fair and balanced. Their message is that everyone, including business, has to share in the sacrifices necessary to restore the finances.

This Budget is “about getting the State back on track after a period of excessive Government spending”. If the Premier and Treasurer hope to begin the process of Budget repair in earnest they will have to ensure this Budget stays on track and doesn’t buckle under pressure from business, industry groups, the Opposition and their own MPs. They will also have to navigate a rebellious Upper House not inclined towards a tax and spend Government.


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