Shadow Minister for Finance Steve Thomas has welcomed the additional expenditure on Western Australia’s COVID-19 response, but has called for the McGowan Labor Government to immediately reveal the full details of its “WA Recovery Plan” now.
“The Government has obviously costed its’ plan, or it would not have been able to spruik the final cost of $5.5 billion” Dr Thomas said.
“It is purely political sophistry to then detail only $60 million for upgrades of Government buildings and $66.3 million for a renewable energy package.”
The Government’s announcement today indicated the $5.5 billion total includes previously announced spending of $2.77 billion. This includes a $402 million freeze in household fees and charges announced last year before the COVID outbreak as a “pre-election sweetener” and rebadged this year once COVID came along.
“That means of the new $2.7 billion in the WA Recovery Plan, only $126.3 million has any clarity today” Dr Thomas said.
“That’s 4.6% of the new money accounted for so far.”
“I have previously called for the State Government to step up, and while I am pleased it has now doubled its contribution from $2.7 billion to $5.5 billion, it still pales when compared to the Federal Government’s $280 billion COVID-19 response” Dr Thomas said.
“Considering the windfall billions of iron ore royalties they are sitting on, the State needed to lift its game.”
“Every day is vital though for industries facing an uncertain future, so the McGowan Government needs to get the full package out immediately so that businesses can plan for the future. It is too important to allow the Government to trickle out announcements in coming weeks for greatest political effect.”