The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCI) has welcomed reports that the McGowan Government is considering the sale of Landgate.
Last week, Premier Mark McGowan confirmed his government was looking at the sale after the Opposition voted to block the gold royalty hike announced in September’s budget.
CCI has long called for the sale of Government assets to pay down debt, generate efficiencies for consumers, boost investment and regain WA’s AAA credit rating.
Earlier this year, New South Wales sold its land titles register for $2.6 billion and South Australia leased its data for $1.6 billion.
CCI Chief Economist Rick Newnham says asset recycling significantly increases the productivity of a state by accelerating infrastructure construction and releasing funds to pay down debt.
“Outside the Government’s well-flagged Metronet, infrastructure spending is lacking in WA over the forward estimates,” Mr Newnham says.
“Recycling assets will allow the Government to pay down debt and invest in new infrastructure that will create jobs and ensure WA’s skilled workforce remains in the state.
“CCI has called on the Government to establish Infrastructure WA to assess long-term infrastructure projects and to submit more projects to Infrastructure Australia to attract greater Commonwealth funding.
“This will allow business to plan for the future and gives more certainty to the infrastructure priorities for the state.
“CCI encourages the Government to assess the merits of the sale of Landgate and to identify other assets that can be sold to the private sector.
“This should be the first step in a series of asset sales to allow WA to start making serious inroads into paying down the state’s debt.”
CCI’s Annual Member Survey confirmed the WA business community strongly supports asset sales in WA.
“Assets identified as having strong support for sale included the TAB and Gloucester Park, with nearly 50 per cent of survey respondents stating they would support their full or partial sale,” Mr Newnham says.
► As WA’s peak business advocate, CCI works to elevate the concerns of WA industry to key nationwide decision-makers. Find out more about our advocacy efforts here.