State buys two planes for $5m
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.