29/05/2006 - 12:15

WA posts $1.5b surplus for 9 months to end of March: report

29/05/2006 - 12:15

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Western Australia's operating surplus for the nine months to March 31 was $1.5 billion, compared with $939 million for the same period a year earlier, according to The March Quarterly Financial Results Report by the Department of Treasury and Finance.

WA posts $1.5b surplus for 9 months to end of March: report

Western Australia's operating surplus for the nine months to March 31 was $1.5 billion, compared with $939 million for the same period a year earlier, according to The March Quarterly Financial Results Report by the Department of Treasury and Finance.

Treasurer Eric Ripper said the 2005-06 surplus would be used to pay off the new MetroRail project 30 years ahead of schedule, saving Western Australia approximately $75million a year in interest payments.

He said the strength of the WA economy meant that revenue continued to grow during the March quarter.

In the first nine months of 2005-06, revenue grew by 12.2 per cent compared with the same period the previous year. Commonwealth grants were up $504million, stamp duties and payroll tax revenue was up $612million and royalty income was up $293million.

However, the Treasurer warned that many of the revenue gains flowing from the boom would be lost over time, with significant reductions in Commonwealth funding expected in future years.

"A significant factor in framing our decisions for the longer term is the delayed impact of the Grants Commission process on our share of Commonwealth GST funding," he said.

"The current boom is expected to cost the State almost $700million in GST grants by 2009-10 - a significant constraint on our future finances."

 

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