State buys two planes for $5m

The Sunday Times - - NEWS - JOE SPAGNOLO Po­lit­i­cal Edi­tor

THE State Govern­ment will spend more than $5 mil­lion buy­ing two air­craft to fly Premier Mark McGowan and his min­is­ters around WA.

The of­fice of Mr McGowan this week con­firmed Cabi­net had ticked off on al­lo­cat­ing $5.5 mil­lion to buy a Beechcraft B200 King Air and a Hawker 850XP.

The two air­craft had been leased by WA gov­ern­ments since 2006.

Ac­cord­ing to the Premier’s of­fice, Trea­sury es­ti­mated the de­ci­sion to pur­chase, rather than lease the planes, would save $7.5 mil­lion over the for­ward es­ti­mates.

Mr McGowan, in a state­ment re­leased this week, said leas­ing the air­craft did not “make fi­nan­cial sense any more”.

“We are com­mit­ted to do­ing ev­ery­thing we can to iden­tify ar­eas where sav­ings can be made to help get our fi­nances back on track,” Mr McGowan said.

“Our care­ful fi­nan­cial man­age­ment is work­ing and I’m pleased we’re head­ing in the right di­rec­tion.

“This is a good out­come for WA tax­pay­ers.

“Leas­ing the air­craft doesn’t make fi­nan­cial sense any more, and we’ve ne­go­ti­ated an out­come that will save tax­pay­ers money in the long term.

“Pur­chas­ing the used planes is the most cost-ef­fec­tive out­come for tax­pay­ers and will save mil­lions of dol­lars over the next few years.”

WA gov­ern­ments be­gan leas­ing air­craft for min­is­te­rial use in the 1990s.

It is un­der­stood the cur­rent lease of two air­craft ex­pires at the end of this year.

Apart from be­ing used by the premier of the day and min­is­ters, the planes are also avail­able for use by emer­gency ser­vice providers.

“It’s im­por­tant that min­is­ters are able to travel the State to speak to as many peo­ple as pos­si­ble, and the size of WA means it is nec­es­sary for min­is­ters to be able to ac­cess the air­craft to carry out their roles,” Mr McGowan said. “But we are com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing it is done in the most fi­nan­cially re­spon­si­ble way pos­si­ble.”

Cost savers: The Govern­ment says buy­ing, rather than leas­ing, the Beechcraft B200 King Air and a Hawker 850XP will save money.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.