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WA is on track to deliver a $1.2 billion surplus this financial year following the windfall of iron ore royalties, based on the Treasurer’s assuming the state will remain COVID-free and the hard borders will remain closed until at least after the March election.

Mr Wyatt mentioned that the proposed June quarter border reopening date was only for the purpose of preparing the budget forecasts and would come down at a time when there are no community cases for 28 days in the nation.

“Our hard border has proven to be our best defence against community spread and to avoid the need to reimpose restrictions… It has allowed our economy to reopen faster and to a greater degree than any other State, and given households and businesses the confidence to go about their normal lives.” Said Mr Wyatt.

A decline in GST receipts and tax revenue were expected to be offset by a jump in iron ore royalties of $7.4 billion, with the Budget forecasted to remain in the black to the tune of $1.2b this financial year.

The proposed surplus is expected to drop down to $363 million in 2021-22 but then rebound to $1.5 billion in 2022-23. This is due to the McGowan Government abandoning its strategy to pay down debt with the surplus and instead committing to spend $27 billion in infrastructure over the next four years.

This is a brief summary of the article ‘Cast iron proof of success’ by Peter Law | The West Australian | Friday 9th October 2020