This Quarterly Financial Results Report provides financial results for the Western Australian public sector for the three months to 30 September 2017.
The general government sector recorded an operating deficit of $669 million for the three months to 30 September 2017, compared to a $514 million deficit reported for the same period in 2016-17, 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 2017 was $200 million (or 2.9%) lower when compared to revenue collected in the same period last year. This was mainly due to the later issuing of assessment notices for land tax and Metropolitan Regional Improvement Tax in this year (down $765 million), partially offset by higher dividend income, higher royalty income and higher Commonwealth grants.
General government expenses were also lower (down $44 million or 0.6%). This was mainly due to lower operating subsidies for Synergy, Water Corporation and the Public Transport Authority, and lower local government grants on-passed from the Commonwealth. Lower transfers were partially offset by higher salaries expenditure (up $93 million), primarily in the health sector, and the one-off impact of recent Machinery of Government changes.
Total public sector Infrastructure spending for the first three months of 2017 18 totalled $1.2 billion, $143 million higher than the amount reported in the same period in the prior year. This outcome was mainly due to increased investment on health sector projects, and the net impact of higher spending by the Water Corporation (including the Millstream to Greenbushes Link), partially offset by lower expenditure by the completion of some social housing projects.
Total public sector net debt stood at $32.4 billion at 30 September 2017, up $483 million on the level recorded at 30 June 2017.
Care should be exercised in extrapolating the likely outcome for the 2017-18 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 2017-18 Government Mid-year Financial Projections Statement (due for release by the 31 December 2017).