WA continues to lead growth

23/07/2008 - 22:00

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The early call of the Northern Territory election this week has highlighted the enviable position of Western Australia's economy, as investment in the state increases by 18 per cent.

WA continues to lead growth

The early call of the Northern Territory election this week has highlighted the enviable position of Western Australia's economy, as investment in the state increases by 18 per cent.

The NT chief minister called for an August election in order to provide certainty to Japanese company Inpex on its decision for a site to host a $12 billion liquefied natural gas plant.

Inpex is currently weighing up between Darwin and WA, where the state government is currently compiling a shortlist of LNG hub sites in the Kimberley, with the report to be released next month.

If Inpex was to choose WA, it would boost the state's investment figure, which currently stands at $170 billion. This figure has increased by 18.2 per cent from the 2007 financial year, according to the latest investment monitor report by Access Economics.

In comparison, NT's investment portfolio reached $16.5 billion at the end of June 2008, up 10.3 per cent from the previous financial year.

Investment in mining and metals in WA lead the sector-by-sector scenario, with $121.4 billion worth of projects committed to or under proposal, accounting for more than half of the nation's $202 billion investment figure.

The state boasts an impressive list of resource investment projects already committed to, including the $11.2 billion Pluto LNG project, the $2 billion Boddington gold mine and BHP Billiton Ltd's $2 billion iron expansion project in the Pilbara.

In the non-resource sectors, projects include the $1.8 billion Fiona Stanley Hospital and a $330 million indoor stadium, while a $500 million cultural and social museum has been proposed.

Overall, the value of projects under construction in WA increased by 24.4 per cent to $40.9 billion compared to the 2007 financial year, while projects committed to and under consideration reached $85 billion.

Nationally, projects committed to and under consideration, at the end of June 2008, stands at nearly $601 billion.

The bumper investment year for WA comes on the back of the economic forecaster this week predicting economic growth of about 5.9 per cent over this financial year, placing WA ahead of the other states and territories and national growth of 3.3 per cent.

Access Economics' growth prediction for WA is slightly higher than the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA's forecast of 5.5 per cent.

WA Treasurer Eric Ripper said although the short-term prospects are 'superb', the state has to prepare for an eventual slow down particularly if the Asian economies, such as China, start to cool off.

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