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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 981 asked in the Legislative Council on 5 September 2019 by Hon Charles Smith

Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 5 September 2019

STATE ECONOMY — WAGES GROWTH

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

I refer to yesterday's release of the national accounts showing that Western Australia's economy continues to wither on the vine with the state recording its sixth consecutive quarterly decline in final demand and Australian workers' real incomes falling sharply despite rising labour productivity.

(1) Does the Treasurer concede that the Western Australian economy is experiencing its fourth recession when measured by real final demand since 2012?

(2) Does the government have any plan to raise workers' wages?

Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:

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

(1) The honourable member is clearly struggling to interpret Australian Bureau of Statistics data. ABC news, ABC radio, Channel Seven Perth, 6PR radio, 97.3 Coast FM radio, Business News Western Australia and The West Australian had no such trouble, all correctly reporting that Western Australia leads the nation for economic growth, with state final demand increasing 0.8 per cent in the June quarter. For the honourable member's benefit, the only recorded recession in Western Australia's history was in 2016–17 under the previous Liberal–National government, when the overall economy contracted by 1.8 per cent.

(2) Annual growth in wages has picked up from 1.2 per cent at the election to 1.6 per cent now. This is what happens when a government creates jobs, rather than destroys them. This government has created more than 52 000 jobs since the election. In the last term of the previous government, not a single job was created; rather, there was a net loss of nearly 700 jobs.