Despite record mining royalties, the State Government continues to make cuts to services we all depend on such as community safety, health and education.
Over the last year our population grew by 73,000 yet the WA Government continues to underfund important public infrastructure and services.
If we are to have quality services then funding needs to match community needs.
On income and funding the key facts are as follows:
- More mining royalties than ever. The Barnett Government has enjoyed greater mining royalty income than any WA state government before. Just prior to coming to office in 2007/08 the State Government received $1.68 billion a year, and now that income has more than doubled to $4 billion a year.
Budget cuts. In its first 2009-10 budget, the Barnett Government cut funding for public services by $381 million. The Barnett Government made further cuts in the 2012-13 budget and then again this September the Barnett Government made still more cuts. This resulted in total cuts in 2012-13 of $596 million.
Matching and meeting community needs for services needs to take into account WA's rapid population growth. With WA growing by an average of 1,400 people each week over the past year, that means more demand for school, health and other services, more congestion on our roads and public transport.
Instead, we have services being cut and underfunded.
Budget cuts have affected all aspects of the public sector including the following areas:
- The WA Police Service resulting in the loss of 104 full time positions;
- Child protection leaving 740 children at risk without a child protection case worker;
- Health services with a loss of 130 full time positions;
- Public transport. The State Government cancelled plans for new trains resulting in serious over-crowding with trains sometimes forced to skip stations.
WA is a wealthy and rapidly growing state. Instead of ensuring our services are adequately resourced to keep up, Premier Barnett has been cutting services that the community depends on.
The State Government can afford to do better.