• How WA fared in the 2019-20 Federal Budget

    REIWA welcomes the 2019-20 Federal Budget, handed down by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on 2 April 2019.

    The predicted surplus of $7.1 billion by the end of this financial year is a good sign of economic recovery and creates the opportunity for the Federal Government to increase its investment in Western Australia. However, plans to cut migration could hamper the recovery of the WA property market.

    REIWA would like to see Perth put back on the Regional Migration Scheme (RMS) to ensure our state has the population to support a strong property market and wider economy.

    What were the key outcomes for WA in the 2019-20 Federal Budget?

    No changes to property taxes

    The 2019-20 Federal Budget revealed no changes to property taxes or increases to taxes at all. This is welcome news for real estate agents, particularly those operating as a small business who can take advantage of the increase to the instant asset write-off threshold to $30,000. Tax relief for those earning less than $126,000 is also very welcome news as well as a change in the tax rate to 30 cents in every dollar for those earning between $45,000 ad $200,000 from 2024.

    Re-commitment to the Perth City Deal

    REIWA welcomes the re-commitment to the Perth City Deal, a key component of REIWA’s federal election campaign.

    It is imperative that the Perth City Deal be a priority in 2019-20. Perth has waited for more than two years for its City Deal that will provide additional funding for METRONET and other project that will create local jobs.

    Cuts to migration from 190,000 to 160,000 annually

    The Morrison Government has committed to cutting overseas migration by 30,000 annually over the next four years. This policy is aimed at reducing congestion and overcrowding in capital cities like Sydney and Melbourne. Western Australia on the other hand has seen a decline in overseas migration.

    Our state needs migrants to fill demand for housing, increase housing construction, create jobs and stimulate economic growth.

    Putting Perth back on the RMS will encourage people away from the eastern seaboard. It will also mean that Perth can access some of the $9.7 billion in funding committed by the Morrison Government to attract oversea students to the regions, an industry Perth has been struggling to crack.

    Funding for WA infrastructure projects

    Federal funding of $1.6 billion has been assigned to WA infrastructure projects. Given that a total of $40 billion has been pledged nationally, WA has yet again failed to receive its fair share of funding.

    WA is home to 10 per cent of Australians and we produce almost 15 per cent of the country’s economic output, so our state should receive at least the same percentage in federal infrastructure funding.

    Local projects to receive funding include:
    • Tonkin Highway - $349 million
    • Fremantle Traffic Bridge - $115 million
    • Albany Ring Road - $140 million
    • Urban Congestion Fund - $122 million
    • Roads of Strategic Importance (North) - $393 million
    • Roads of Strategic Importance (South) - $142 million

    Federal incentives to phase out stamp duty

    The 2019-20 Federal Budget did not include funds dedicated to a feasibility study to phase out stamp duty. This is disappointing, but REIWA will continue to advocate for such funding in future budgets. Both sides of parliaments have committed to addressing the rising costs of living.

    The impost of stamp duty increases mortgage repayments making it harder for West Australians to pay the bills or put food on the table. Removing stamp duty will be a more effective long-term solution to reducing the cost of living and should be placed firmly on the radar for both sides of government.

    View REIWA’s official media statement.

    For more information about the Institute’s 2019 federal election campaign, visit whataboutwa.com.au.