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  • Rikki Lambert

Commsec's State of the States has state oppositions in a state

NSW Labor has blamed the Berejiklian government for the state's poor economic performance while the SA Labor Opposition has been scathing of the Marshall government's low placing in the latest rankings.

NSW shadow treasurer Walt Secord has slammed the Berejiklian government for the state's poor economic performance during the coronavirus pandemic, as indicated by the latest quarterly state of the states report compiled by Commonwealth Securities.

Among eight states and territories, NSW languished in seventh position, barely ahead of the Northern Territory.

Mr Secord said on Tuesday on NSW's lowest ratings in more than nine years:

"This is a sad report and showed that the Berejiklian government missed an opportunity to provide genuine support in the COVID-19 economic crisis.
"Clearly, the Berejiklian COVID support did not hit its mark.
"I never thought I would see the day when we lagged behind the Tasmanian and South Australian economies."

Tasmania topped the performance rankings for the fifth consecutive quarter, followed by the ACT in second place and Western Australia in third.

CommSec assesses each state and territory on eight key indicators - economic growth, retail spending, equipment investment, unemployment, construction, population growth, housing finance and starts on dwelling work.

The report puts the wind in the sails of Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein as his state heads to a state election this weekend.

CommSec economists Craig James and Ryan Felsman said:

"Tasmania and ACT solidly held positions at the top of the performance rankings and little change at the top of the rankings is expected in the next few quarters.
"However, there is little to separate five of the other seven economies with the Northern Territory still in eighth spot."

CommSec expects Western Australia will be the main challenger to the front-runners, having significant momentum from mining and homebuilding.

Despite the closeness between states' rankings, SA Labor hit out at South Australia's low position, saying it delivered a 'damning verdict on Steven Marshall’s handling of the economy, with SA lagging the national average on key indicator', noting that 'even COVID-ravaged Victoria is ranked higher than South Australia'. Shadow Treasurer Stephen Mullighan said in a statement:

"CommSec’s report is yet another damning assessment of our states economy and it’s clear Steven Marshall’s stimulus plans are simply not enough to get our economy moving again. "This report shows South Australia is amongst the lowest-performing states on employment, retail trade, construction work and business investment - even the one bright spot of housing construction has us lagging the national average. "It’s clear Steven Marshall’s COVID-19 stimulus has been too little, too late, with job-creating infrastructure projects delayed and small business finding it difficult to take on new staff."


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