Barnett looks to boost jobs

Colin Barnett says big projects are not about him.

Colin Barnett will use his leader's speech at today's Liberal Party State conference to try to shed the perception his Government's record infrastructure spend is all about vanity projects.

The Premier is set to seize on the release of official jobs figures this week that show a softening employment market to attempt to reframe the local political discussion.

He is expected to declare that projects such as Elizabeth Quay, the City Link and the new Perth stadium at Burswood are supporting jobs at a time when the mining construction sector is shedding workers by the thousands.

The Government has spent $6-$7 billion a year on infrastructure since it came to power in September 2008 but has run much smaller operating surpluses of just $250 million to $1.6 billion over the same period, meaning the majority of the asset binge has been debt-funded.

State debt has jumped from $6.8 billion when Mr Barnett took power in 2008 to a projected $25 billion this year, which has contributed to the loss of the AAA credit rating from Standard & Poor's.

WA's unemployment rate jumped to 5.2 per cent this week, according to ABS figures, while full-time employment in the mining industry has fallen 20,000 people from the peak in August 2012 to 102,000 full-time equivalents in May.

Mr Barnett will claim 28,000 direct jobs will be created during construction of the stadium, Elizabeth Quay, City Link, Riverside, the new children's hospital and the Gateway airport roads project.

He will also confirm details of the Government's plan to tunnel the full length of the 8km Bayswater to High Wycombe airport rail project.

The Government will complete a review of mining royalties by the end of the year, but has already factored $600 million of revenue into the forward estimates, sparking fears from mining companies they are likely to be slugged.

Among other motions are calls for regulatory barriers to ride-sharing services such as Uber be removed; for the Government to put forward a "realistic plan in the next Budget" to sell assets to reduce debt; and to repeal laws preventing the growing of genetically modified crops.