WA DEBT: WORRY OR WORTH IT?

Western Suburbs Weekly - - WesternOpinion -

A HAND-PAINTED “WA debt = $33b and count­ing” plac­ard over Stir­ling High­way foot­bridge in Clare­mont last week is a sign of the times. WA Trea­sury es­ti­mates debt will reach a record $41.1 bil­lion in 2019-20. Pre­mier Colin Bar­nett says in re­al­ity debt is $27 bil­lion and ar­gues it built vi­tal in­fra­struc­ture such as power and wa­ter, schools, roads and po­lice sta­tions that are as­sets for the fu­ture.

There is no men­tion of a sec­ond port to take trade into the 21st cen­tury. Mr Bar­nett says deal­ing with the re­main­ing debt is man­age­able af­ter any $8 bil­lion windfall from his pro­posed half-sale of Western Power. Mean­while, La­bor’s Mark Mcgowan has not said enough about debt and in­ter­est pay­ments that could soon reach $1.1 bil­lion in 2020. So be­fore the State Elec­tion on March 11, read up and talk with friends so you can all count your­selves as in­formed to de­cide if the loans the State racked up re­ally were worth it.

Ev­ery­one’s fu­tures de­pend on it.

Jon Bassett - reporter

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