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27 / 36

2000-01

7%

2001-02

5%

2002-03

3%

2003-04

0.7%

2004-05

-0.2%

2005-06

-1.4%

2006-07

-1.9%

2007-08

-4.6%

2008-09

-4.2%

Australian Federal and State Budgets – An Overview

Tasmanian Government Sector Net Debt (as a Ratio of Gross State Product): 2000-01 to 2008-09 72

19

9

WESTERN AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT BUDGETS

According to Kerry Carne, a focus on net debt reduction “first appeared” in Western Australia “in 1992-93” during the term of office of Carmel Lawrence’s ALP state government. Carne has described how the:

Key targets were (a) containing increases in total state debt to at least one per cent less per annum on average than economic growth, (b) accelerated repayment of general government debt. . .and (c) an ultimate objective of regaining a AAA credit rating in the medium term. . 73

In 1993, Richard Court’s Liberal Party state government gained office and, in successive budgets, maintained the focus on budget balance and on the reduction of state debt. Geoff Gallop’s ALP state government, elected in 2001, retained the same fiscal stance.74 Gallop (premier from 2001-2006), and Alan Carpenter (ALP state premier from 2006-2008) were both greatly helped by the onset of another minerals boom. Between 2000-01 and 2008-09, WA gross state product grew from $74 billion to $170 billion, an annual increase of 4.3%.75 As result of the boom, both the Gallop and Carpenter governments were able to maintain substantial budget surpluses and reduce net debt. This can be seen in the accompanying tables:

72

TDTF, Treasurer’s Annual Financial Report: 2008-09 (Tasmanian Department of Treasury and Finance, Hobart, 2008), p.2.7; Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian National Accounts: State Accounts, ABS Catalogue 5220.0; p.14.

73

Carne, n.21, pp.132-133.

74

Carne, n.21, pp.133-134,138.

75

Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian National Accounts: State Accounts, ABS Catalogue 5220.0 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra, 2009), p.12.

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