Economic engine room sidelined by Federal Labor

WA Opposition Leader Shane Love has labelled the 2024-25 Federal Budget a missed opportunity for WA which fails to address the cost-of-living crisis for struggling families and businesses or capitalise on WA’s untapped economic potential.

“The $9.3 billion Budget surplus represents the economic strength of Western Australia’s contribution to the country, but the Federal Budget contains a raft of misplaced priorities,” Mr Love said.

“At a time when we are seeing families sleeping in cars and tents, thousands of job losses off the back of a collapsing critical resources sector, and the destruction of our live export industry, the Federal Budget is a major disappointment for WA families, businesses, and communities.

“Western Australia is the engine room of the Australian economy, yet the important role WA plays has been overlooked by the Albanese Labor Government.”


Mr Love said the Budget surplus was built off the back of WA’s resources and agriculture sectors, however, these industries continued to face dire threats, while the Future Made in Australia program had seen billions of dollars diverted to Eastern States projects.

“If we want a future made in Australia, it must start in WA, where critical minerals like lithium, nickel and hydrogen are in abundance. We need to see real commitments from the Federal Government to nurture these sectors and create sustainable jobs in WA,” Mr Love said.

“Instead of pumping $1 billion into a solar panel manufacturing hub in the Labor heartland of the Hunter Valley we should be building batteries and other critical components using WA materials right here in our state.

“And to deliver a $400 million loan to alumina processing in Queensland while thousands of jobs have been lost in WA’s nickel industry since the start of 2024 further demonstrates Labor’s Eastern-States-centric priorities.”

Mr Love said the production tax incentive for critical minerals has been long called for by the Opposition and the resources sector but would not commence until 2027.

“This incentive has the potential to provide much-needed relief to get our critical minerals industry back into the game, but it is needed now, not three years from now.

“Labor has kicked the can down the road and left our critical industries without the support they need to remain competitive in the global resources market.”

Mr Love lashed the miserly live sheep export transition package announced in a lightning-quick visit to WA this week by Federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watter “Labor’s anti-agriculture agenda is hurting farmers, regional communities, and WA’s economy, and the $107 million transition package has been labelled totally inadequate by industry.


The Opposition Leader also raised alarm over the skills shortage, which was made worse by Canberra’s drastic cuts to WA’s skilled migration intake last year.

“Off the back of a shock decision by Anthony Albanese to cut WA’s skilled migration by 70 per cent, we have now lost a critical stream of workers who are desperately needed to build new homes, deliver infrastructure projects, and fulfil highly specialised roles.

“The Federal Budget offers no real solutions to address the current skills shortage, instead placing all its hopes on free TAFE courses to magically deliver the highly skilled workforce Australia needs now and into the future.”


Mr Love said the additional $123 million for Australian Border Force following an influx of boat arrivals and illegal fishing activity in Australian waters was sorely needed.

“It appears the Albanese Government is in danger of losing control of Australia’s borders, and it is my hope this funding will restore sea and air patrols to their previous level and prevent the further arrival of asylum seekers entering WA.

“Border security and managing biosecurity risks is a core responsibility for the Federal Government, and this increased investment must also be backed up by a concerted attempt by the Albanese Government to stop the boats.”


Mr Love said he welcomed funding for family and domestic violence but warned the $5,000 support payments did not go far enough.

“While it is a positive first step, but there is still much more that needs to be done, including more funding for education, intervention, and staffing for frontline support and legal services.

“When there are no rental properties available, crisis accommodation is at capacity, and every service provider is stretched thin, these grants alone offer limited support.

“WA has delivered this surplus, and I call on the Albanese Labor Government to ensure families, businesses and communities in WA reap the benefits and are no longer overlooked.”