This Quarterly Financial Results Report provides financial results for the Western Australian public sector for the three months to 30 September 2016.The general government sector recorded an operating deficit of $514 million for the three months to 30 September 2016, compared to a $1,146 million deficit reported for the same period in 2015-16, with timing issues the key driver in the lower quarterly deficit relative to the same period last year.
Revenue for the three months to 30 September 2016 was $1 billion (or 16.8%) higher when compared to revenue collected in the same period last year. This substantial increase is mainly due to the earlier issuing of assessment notices for land tax and Metropolitan Regional Improvement Tax in this year (together accounting for $837 million of the higher quarterly outcome). Excluding the timing of these assessments this year, revenue increased by 2.6% on the same quarter last year.
General government expenses grew by $360 million (or 5.1%), reflecting higher ‘other’ gross operating expenses across the sector. Importantly, salary costs remain contained, increasing by $50 million (or 1.8%), reflecting the impact of the Government’s wages policy and other workforce management initiatives.
Care should be exercised in extrapolating the likely outcome for the 2016-17 year based on the results to date, particularly in light of the seasonal and other timing factors that impact the State’s finances. Further updates will be provided in the 2016-17 Government Mid-year Financial Projections Statement (due for release by the 31 December 2016).