Skip to main content

Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 440 asked in the Legislative Council on 14 May 2020 by Hon Charles Smith

Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on


440. Hon CHARLES SMITH to the minister representing the Treasurer:

I refer to the Australian Bureau of Statistics latest labour price index for the March quarter 2020, which revealed plummeting wage growth in the lead-up to COVID-19 lockdown, with WA having the lowest wage growth at an anaemic 1.8 per cent. What plans does the government have to stop wages growth collapsing even further as mass unemployment manifests in the coming months?


I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question. The following answer has been provided to me by the Treasurer.

The honourable member is incorrect. In the lead-up to the COVID-19 restrictions, the increase in Western Australia's wage price index of 1.8 per cent in the March 2020 quarter was the strongest rate of annual growth since 2015–16. This is consistent with the general improvement in the state's economy since the 1.7 per cent contraction in gross state product in 2016–17. At the time of the last election, annual wage growth was a modest 1.2 per cent—the lowest result on record. Of course the COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted the state's positive growth trajectory, as it has with the national and global economies. The state government has responded with around $1.8 billion in stimulus and support measures, and economic recovery planning is underway. This includes approvals and procurement reforms designed to cut red tape and to bring forward investment in new roads and other infrastructure. These reforms and investments will support economic activity and local jobs.