WA Economy

Why WA is still feeling it after the biggest mining boom?

Western Australia had experienced the biggest mining activity from the early 2000s up until 2014, Perth was buzzing with excitement, the economy was soaring, those in the mining industry had more money than they were ever use to and the Western Australian Government was loving the royalties. Suddenly, many had more disposable income and could afford to splurge on luxury items, commit to buying several properties, cars, boats and motorcycles. However, it has been several years since the boom and the aftermath is still being felt in Western Australia.

Those before who could afford to take out huge loans were now left with depreciating assets they could not pay off and lost their jobs in the economy downturn. Over commitment also came from the state government who ignored advice of the Treasury to minimize spending, resulting in Western Australia being left with a record budget deficit.

Several years on, Western Australia is still feeling the pinch and it is particular evident in the 2016 Census. Populations in towns across WA have fallen, people who have made there money have moved on whilst other Western Australians are experiencing a decline in wage growth compared to the rest of the country. The ABS shows that household incomes dropped 0.9 per cent when as a whole, incomes rose by 1.8 per cent as a nation. Since 2014 when the mining boom ended, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that 66 per cent of WA’s council areas had experienced a decline in household income since 2014-2015 through to 2016-2017 and doesn’t show any signs of of a turn around.