Economy makes strategic move to exports

From Left: Paul Miles, Minister Troy Buswell, Vesna Sampson (WBA President), Mayor Tracey Roberts at Wanneroo Business Association Christmas Lunch
From Left: Paul Miles, Minister Troy Buswell, Vesna Sampson (WBA President), Mayor Tracey Roberts at Wanneroo Business Association Christmas Lunch

Speaking at the Wanneroo Business Association’s Christmas lunch on December 11, the Treasurer and Transport Minister said the State economy was strong, but changing.

‘The WA economy is at a very interesting point,’ he said. ‘Up until recently the largest growth driver has been business investment, particularly business investment in the mining industry.

‘That is now starting to decline ” what will replace that will be exports.

‘It is going to present some challenges but we just have to deal with those as we drive through the cycle (of economic growth phases).’

Mr Buswell said employment growth would be flatter, and they were seeing a shift from full-time employment to part-time employment.

He said that affected family incomes and consumption of goods and services, but there had also been an upswell in new dwelling activity.

‘The residential construction side, with its significant local employment, counteracts what’s happening in the resources sector,’ he said.

With 1500 people moving into WA each week, Mr Buswell said population growth was important in the State, putting a lot of pressure on services.

‘Our business model is broken ” our expense growth has exceeded our revenue growth,’ he said.

‘The easy option is to go and borrow money (but) we have decided to go and fix up our business model.’

Mr Buswell said some of the changes were legislative, such as allowing government employees to take voluntary redundancies, and others involved selling infrastructure such as deslination plants and waste water treatment facilities.

He said they were also taking steps to reduce red tape and make things easier for business.