WA budget in even better shape

·1-min read

Western Australia has closed out the past financial year in an even better position than expected.

The recent state budget estimated a surplus for 2020/21 of $5.6 billion, fuelled by strong iron ore prices.

The budget forecast a $2.8 billion surplus for 2021/22 with the state's finances to remain in the black across the forward estimates.

But the final audit for the past year showed the surplus came in slightly higher at $5.8 billion.

The audit also put infrastructure investment at $5.8 billion, the highest since 2013/14, reflecting additional spending to support jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Total public sector debt to the end of June was also down $2 billion to $33.5 billion.

"Western Australia's financial position is strong and on a sustainable footing, despite the global pandemic," Premier Mark McGowan said.

"Our financial position highlights our safe and strong management of COVID-19, and has delivered the best economic and financial outcomes in Australia and possibly the world.

"We have also protected the jobs of Western Australians, with our economy more open than elsewhere in Australia and the world throughout the pandemic."

But the premier said it was important to remember that the state's revenue base was highly volatile, as evidenced by the recent sharp fall in iron ore prices.

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