In the early 1980s, the deregulation of domestic capital markets and changes in the Australian Loan Council rules on semi-government borrowings highlighted a growing need to coordinate and consolidate the borrowing programs of semi-government authorities under one central body.
Western Australia was the first state to introduce legislation to establish a central approach to semi-government borrowing under the Borrowings for Authorities Act 1981. Under this approach, funds raised by the Treasurer of Western Australia were lent on a back-to-back basis to the various statutory authorities requiring funds.
As capital markets continued to develop and change, the State Treasury had the opportunity to assess its operations under the Borrowings for Authorities Act. It identified that certain amendments were needed in the Act to provide a more flexible approach to raising funds and to take advantage of a growing range of sophisticated debt instruments.
The result was the establishment of Western Australian Treasury Corporation (WATC) on 1 July 1986 under the Western Australian Treasury Corporation Act 1986 (the Act) as the State’s central borrowing authority. Amendments to the Act during 1998 expanded WATC’s role to include the provision of financial management services to the Western Australian public sector.