WA’s budget surplus underpinned by a strong resources sector…again

“WA continues to produce almost half the nation’s goods exports, helping to generate almost $260 billion for the nation.”

CME Chief Executive Officer, Rebecca Tomkinson

Western Australia’s buoyant mining and resources sector has again boosted this year’s State Budget, producing its sixth consecutive surplus, with royalties alone accounting for 26.5 per cent of general government revenue.

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA’s (CME) Chief Executive Officer, Rebecca Tomkinson, said today’s 2024-25 State Budget highlighted the substantial ongoing contribution of the minerals and energy sectors to WA’s economic and social health, adding that the provision went beyond dollars and cents.

“The contributions of our members collectively enable the WA and Federal Governments to provide cost of living relief to WA families, fund our essential infrastructure, deliver frontline services in health, housing and education, and support our communities,” said Ms Tomkinson.

“That’s all underpinned by factors such as the strong confidence of WA businesses, with resources at the top of that tree. There’s an expected 13.25 per cent increase in business investment this year – the highest in more than a decade.

“WA continues to produce almost half the nation’s goods exports, helping to generate almost $260 billion for the nation.”

Ms Tomkinson added that the $3.2 billion budget surplus is significantly aided by strong royalty collections – estimated to reach $11.9 billion in 2023-24 – and payroll tax, to which the WA resources sector is the single largest contributor.

She also warned that while some commodity prices were reasonably buoyant now, State and Federal Governments needed the agility to mitigate strong geopolitical pressures and keep Australia’s industry competitive across the board.

“This budget comes at a critical time for our state’s resources sector, with rising costs, falling commodity prices and strong global competition testing our industry’s resilience,” she said.

“For our sector’s contribution to jobs, local businesses, communities and government revenues to continue to grow we need the basics from the WA Government: efficient approvals, turnkey strategic industrial areas and a low emission, reliable and cost-competitive energy system.

Ms Tomkinson also highlighted that WA’s energy transition towards renewables remained a significant challenge for this decade, adding that CME had called for a draft master transmission plan for the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) along with proposed funding models to be delivered by mid-2024.

Major resources sector-related budget announcements included:

  • $500 million for the Strategic Industries Fund to deliver common-user and other enabling infrastructure at Strategic Industrial Areas (SIAs) across regional and metropolitan WA.
  • $200 million for a New Critical Minerals Advanced Processing Common User Facility, co-funded by the Commonwealth.
  • $324 million to undertake extensive planning and procure long-lead transmission infrastructure for the SWIS to unlock industry growth and connect more renewable energy.
  • $147.6 million to support the development of common-user network infrastructure in the North West Interconnected System to open up new opportunities for clean energy.
  • $373 million for maintenance and upgrade projects at WA ports.
  • $36.4 million to cut green tape and speed up approvals.

/Public Release. View in full here.