WA DEBT: WORRY OR WORTH IT?
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