WA Economy Now The Nation's Worst-Performing
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has called on the prime minister and treasurer to 'get off their bottoms' and speed up Western Australia's NBN rollout as a report shows its economy is the nation's weakest.
The latest CommSec State of the States report showed WA's economy was now the nation's worst-performing in the September quarter.
However it also said record mining export volumes and better commodities prices would lead to higher revenues.
"There's no doubt [Premier] Colin Barnett has squandered the mining boom," Mr Shorten told reporters in Perth on Monday.
"By the same token, it's very important that Scott Morrison and Malcolm Turnbull got up off their bottoms and start doing something to help WA.
"We want to see proper NBN here, you need to have Perth Metronet public transport, which will generate jobs."
As he did in the lead-up to this year's federal election, Mr Shorten refused to say what a state or federal Labor government would do to improve WA's GST share, although WA Labor leader Mark McGowan would be a "proper advocate for the west" if elected as premier in March.
"We'll seriously look at what is proposed to us," Mr Shorten said.
"But what we also have to do is not make promises we won't keep."
Mr McGowan said the Barnett government should have moved to diversify the state's economy sooner.
"It's appalling that we've gone from the first to the last of all the state economies on this government's watch," he said.
"That will be one of the enduring legacies of the Liberal-National government."
A recent Grant Thornton survey showed positive sentiment was starting to return to the mining sector, but stock market floats were still thin on the ground and capital remained scarce.