Billionaire Kerry Stokes believes economic conditions in Western Australia are the worst in nearly a quarter of a century.
“We are in a really tough period,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Mr Stokes as saying in Perth after the launch of his biography.
The state government is selling assets and cutting public sector costs to fill a $2 billion shortfall in mining royalties which have plunged with the price of iron ore.
The easing of the mining investment boom, and fewer jobs in resources, has also meant a weakening in the state’s payroll tax income.
“Probably, this is as tough as I’ve seen since 1991,” Mr Stokes, who has media and mining interests, said.
“People are saying to me: ‘How bad does it get?’ In 1991 the three [TV] networks in Australia all lost money. Every network in Australia lost money. In 1991, WesTrac had a horrible year. This is shaping up like that period.”
Mr Stokes plans to read the book, “The Boy from Nowhere”, by Andrew Rule, over Christmas.
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