Economics

Western Australia needs an economy that does not rely on unsustainable impacts on the environment and our communities. There is currently a disparity across Western Australian communities in their quality of life and the availability of further opportunities. A strong economy should provide for all. Our economy must support and enhance present sustainability and prosperity without compromising that of coming generations.

Aims

The Greens (WA) want:

  • all economic and fiscal policies to be consistent with increased social and intergenerational equity
  • a rapid transition to a low-carbon economy based on renewable energy, energy efficiency and carbon drawdown (see also The Greens (WA) Energy policy)
  • an employment and workplace relations framework that promotes job security and satisfaction, social equity and a safe workplace (see also The Greens (WA) Workplace Relations policy)
  • the reform of local-state-commonwealth relations to clarify responsibilities and reduce duplication, cost shifting and over-regulation
  • reporting based on genuine progress indicators that account for resource depletion
  • a socially just and economically efficient tax and revenue system

Measures

The Greens (WA) will encourage and support legislation and actions that:

Social and Intergenerational equity

  • recognise the principle of intragenerational and intergenerational equity in making decisions on state debt, infrastructure investment, and the tax and transfer system
  • assess all State government taxes, charges and subsidies to identify their impact on social equity and prosperity, in order to phase out unfair wealth transfers and ensure all forms of State government assistance are targeted to prioritise financially vulnerable sectors of our community
  • require a detailed employment diversity policy included in Directors’ reports

Transition to a Low Carbon Economy (see also The Greens (WA) Climate Change and Energy policies)

  • distribute the costs of addressing the impacts of climate change to the industries creating the emissions through a polluter pays principle
  • provide incentives and direct investment in clean energy, energy efficiency and energy conservation measures
  • target industry assistance to reduce local vulnerabilities to economic dislocation

Diversified Industry Policy

  • support the development of an Industry Transition Policy (ITP) to prioritise strategic industry sectors requiring research and development, direct investment, financial guarantees or workforce development
  • develop industry policy that prioritises support for high employing, high skilled, value adding industries
  • ensure collaboration between government, industry and academia to identify and address skill shortages and infrastructure requirements to give effect to industry policy
  • redirect subsidies and other state support away from low-value added extractive industries (see also The Greens (WA) Mining policy)
  • subject industry assistance programs to a rigorous and timely assessment process with provision for public submissions and scrutiny by Parliament prior to making binding commitments
  • require the Auditor General to regularly audit the performance of industry assistance programs and State Agreement Acts
  • provide government support for increasing basic and independent research and development within industry sectors, with a focus on those which support sustainable use of resources
  • ensure a speedy transition to resource stewardship and closed-loop economics

Employment, Security and Diversity  (see also The Greens (WA) Workplace Relations policy)

  • align Western Australian workplace training and workforce development priorities with the proposed Industry Transition Policy
  • simplify Western Australia's Workplace Agreement and Award system to allow more streamlined operations for small business
  • work with vulnerable populations and sectors to provide skills training and other structural support
  • ensure that Western Australia's Workplace Agreement and Award system protects and enhances the rights of employees and workers
  • reduce the casualisation of the workforce - the industrial relations framework and government policies should promote full employment and job security

Local-State-Federal Relations

  • ensure an independent public review of Commonwealth, State and local government service provision functions and revenue-raising powers (see also The Greens (WA) Local Government policy)
  • reform the Commonwealth Grants Commission to provide for greater simplicity, predictability and transparency, and a floor for the return of GST receipts to reduce volatility in state revenues
  • expand the rate base of local governments to allow greater local provision of services
  • encourage the development and resourcing of regional councils
  • support a constitutional amendment to provide for direct Commonwealth funding of local governments
  • develop a Commonwealth-State agreement on national processes for industry assistance to limit unproductive competition between States
  • harmonise business regulation through COAG to best practice standards.

Localisation, Small Business and Economic Resilience (see also The Greens (WA) Small Business policy)

  • consult regularly with small business, including convening a Small Business Summit to identify ways to streamline legislation and remove unnecessary regulation
  • simplify State imposed taxation systems to simplify the administrative overhead for small business operators
  • reform trading hours regulations to improve economic and social viability for small traders
  • provide affordable small business management skills courses and advisory services, including business incubators
  • increase research and development incentives to business
  • support social enterprises including cooperatives, producers markets, local currencies, schemes to share vehicles and equipment, and enterprises providing supported employment for those disadvantaged in the labour market
  • plan reforms to introduce more accessible, mixed-use higher density activity centres to distribute services and employment opportunities through large urban areas

Indicators and Reporting

  • substitute a broadly based Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI)1 per capita for the cash transaction based Gross State Product (GSP)2 as the standard measure of economic performance, for reporting in all state budgets
  • ensure that the Australian Bureau of Statistics assess and report GPI and GSP
  • encourage all business over a certain size to report against genuine progress indicators
  • ensure that commercial recipients of State contracts above a certain value adopt genuine progress reporting obligations
  • develop a public resource accounting system that assesses resource depletion

Tax Policy

  • introduce a simpler, more progressive tax system resistant to evasion and with low compliance costs, to provide a secure revenue base for each level of government
  • reform inefficient, regressive taxes including payroll and stamp duties, to be replaced with a carefully phased in expansion of land tax and other progressive taxes
  • convene a State Tax Summit to assess and prioritise proposals for State tax reforms, including those proposed in the Henry Tax Review

(See also the Australian Greens Economic Justice policy)

Glossary

  1. GPI - measures whether or not a country's growth, increased production of goods, and expanding services have actually resulted in the improvement of the welfare of the people. A GPI can more reliably measure economic progress, as it distinguishes between healthy growth and maladaptive growth.
  2. GSP - the total market value of all final goods and services produced within a state, usually over a calendar year.

Economics policy ratified by The Greens (WA) in 2020

The Greens (WA) finance spokesperson is Diane Evers MLC and commerce spokesperson is Alison Xamon MLC