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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 1142 asked in the Legislative Council on 15 October 2019 by Hon Dr Steve Thomas

Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 15 October 2019


1142. Hon Dr STEVE THOMAS to the minister representing the Treasurer:

I refer to the answer to my questions without notice 13, 80, 656, 938 and 961 this year about the 2019 mini-boom of iron ore royalties. I refer also to the Annual Report on State Finances. I apologise to the minister. The question originally said that that report was to be released tomorrow, but this question was put in a couple of weeks ago.

(1) What is the current spot price of iron ore in US dollars?

(2) During what periods in 2019 so far was the iron ore price over $US90 a tonne?

(3) What was the mean average iron ore price from 12 February 2019 to 13 October 2019?

(4) How much additional iron ore royalty revenue above budget estimates has the state received so far in the 2019 calendar year?

(5) How much of this additional revenue has been committed to specific expenditure, and what are those commitments?


I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question. This information has been provided to me by the Treasurer.

(1)–(3) Iron ore prices are widely reported in the media on a daily basis. As reported on page 52 of today's The West Australian, today's price is $92.86.

(4) I refer the member to the 2018–19 Annual Report on State Finances. The 2019–20 midyear review will be published by the end of 2019 and will contain an update to the 2019–20 budget revenue projections.

(5) I refer the honourable member to the response to part (5) of question without notice 938 and reiterate —

There will always be a number of changes to revenue and expenditure expectations between the delivery of a state budget and the conclusion of a financial year. The government does not make expenditure decisions based on changes to a single revenue stream among thousands of items of revenue and expenditure.

Moreover, iron ore royalty revenue is highly volatile, and we will not know the full-year effect of iron ore price movements relative to forecasts until after the end of the year.