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Western Australian Budget delivers surplus but border unlikely to open until April 2021

Western Australian Budget delivers surplus but border unlikely to open until April 2021
October 9, 2020

The Western Australian Budget has confirmed funding already announced in the state’s three-year WA Recovery Plan, with iron ore royalties delivering a surplus.

However, Budget papers released yesterday have given a clear indication that Western Australia’s hard border will stay until after the state election in March 2021, with economic forecasts assuming the restrictions won’t come down until April next year.

Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, Western Australia has collected an additional $2.3 billion in iron ore revenue, mostly on the back of booming commodities prices driven by Chinese stimulus spending.

Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan said the state’s economy was in a better position than forecast at the outset of the pandemic, as a result of “our world leading response and strong border controls”.

Stating that biggest threat to the state was a second wave of Coronavirus, Premier McGowan added “Western Australia's island within an island strategy has worked but we are surrounded by a world of uncertainty making it more important than ever to deliver a strong, stable and sensible government to the people of Western Australia.”

The Budget also include an investment of more than $25 million over the next four years towards the creation and management of national parks, marine parks and other conservation reserves under the flagship 'Plan for Our Parks' initiative.

The funding will help develop Indigenous Land Use Agreements and management plans to ensure the proposed reserves meet the aspirations of traditional owners, while delivering environmental, tourism and on-country employment outcomes.

In August, the WA Recovery Plan announced stimulus funding in excess of $525 for the arts, sport and tourism.

No further information on WACA aquatic centre
The WA Recovery Plan included a $30 million contribution to the redevelopment of Perth’s WACA ground, adding to a Federal Government commitment of the same amount.

Part of the project is for a community aquatic centre, to be developed with the City of Perth, which Premier McGowan said last month will “serve residents in the local community and draw more families into our city … adding vibrancy to the area and make our city more liveable, especially for families.”

While it has been reported that the Western Australian Government and the Council have joint-funded a business case for the project, no details of the aquatic centre project appear to be available.

The City of Perth has not responded to a request for information on the project.

Images: The Perth Concert Hall is to get a $30 million upgrade from the WA Recovery Plan (top) and plans for the redevelopment of the WACA (below).

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