Monday, September 25, 2023

Moody’s upgrades Western Australia to AAA credit rating: Cook, Saffioti

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The Hon. Roger Cook, Premier of Western Australia, The Hon. Rita Saffioti, Treasurer of Western Australia, Joint Media Release, 11 July 2023

Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded Western Australia’s credit rating to AAA, with a ‘stable’ outlook, highlighting Western Australia’s strong financial management.

This is the highest possible credit rating and follows a similar upgrade by S&P Global in June 2022 – after the State lost its AAA rating from S&P in 2013 and then from Moody’s in 2014 under the previous Liberal National Government. 

The upgrade means Western Australia is now the only State or Territory with a AAA credit rating from both major international ratings agencies, and one of a very small number of jurisdictions globally with such a rating.

In upgrading the State to its top credit rating assessment, Moody’s highlighted Western Australia’s financial performance to be an “an outlier to its domestic and international peers”, with sustained budget surpluses and material easing in the State’s debt burden under the current Government.

Moody’s stated its assessment reflected that “governance has strengthened considerably over the past five years, including strong expenditure controls as well as the introduction of robust and conservative budgeting protocols…” resulting in improvements in the State’s financial metrics.  

The report also highlighted that “despite the economic disruption caused by the pandemic, and recent weakening of global economic conditions, the State has improved underlying revenue diversity on account of the ongoing diversification and rapid growth of the economy relative to other Australian States and Territories”. 

Western Australia’s net debt levels have fallen from a projected $43.7 billion when the previous Liberal National Government left office to $27.9 billion by 30 June 2023, saving the State around $4.3 billion in interest payments.

Comments attributed to Premier Roger Cook:

“Western Australia stands alone as the only State or Territory with AAA credit ratings from both Moody’s and S&P’s – reflecting our years of hard work and responsible financial management to turn the State’s finances around since coming to office in 2017.

“Under my government we continue the focus on strong financial management, invest in what matters, pay down debt, diversify the Western Australian economy and create jobs for future generations.”

Comments attributed to Treasurer Rita Saffioti:

“Moody’s upgrade of Western Australia’s credit rating to Aaa is terrific news for the State and follows a similar upgrade to AAA by S&P Global in June last year.

“Since coming to office in 2017, our Government has worked tirelessly to repair the State’s finances, turning around the record operating deficits and out-of-control increases in debt under the previous Liberal‑National Government.

“It’s taken around nine years for us to have our Aaa credit rating reinstated by Moody’s which highlights the importance of maintaining strong management of the State’s finances.

“Our strong financial management has enabled us to meet the challenges of today such as providing significant cost of living relief to households, providing record investments into services such as health and education, while setting the state up for the future by investing in infrastructure and decarbonising our economy.

“The upgrade also means the State will pay less interest on its future borrowings, which means we can invest more in key services.”


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