Providing Value to Clients
WATC provides the State and government authorities a comprehensive range of high-quality, cost‑effective financial products and services.
WATC plays an important role in the management of public sector finances by assisting agencies to make informed decisions that are appropriate for their business and represent value for money for the State.
Using our accumulated experience, knowledge and specialist skills, we identify opportunities where our expertise in debt funding and investments, foreign exchange management and providing financial and commercial advisory services can add value to government agencies. Examples of our unique expertise driving outcomes for the State include:
- supporting VenuesWest through their introduction of an interest rate service payment adjustment within the Perth Stadium contract (resulting in material interest payment rebates for the State from February 2020);
- working with a number of agencies to identify, quantify and manage their FX exposures;
- assisting the Department of Health with the financial assessment as part of a major contract review, providing a thorough cost-benefit analysis of the various options that aided the WA Government in determining the best option for the State; and,
- directly supporting vital government infrastructure projects through the secondment of team members into agencies (such as Landgate and METRONET) who provided ongoing expert financial and commercial advice.
WATC values the importance in undertaking initiatives regarding the sustainability of the State for future generations. In response to an increasing global concern over plastic pollution of oceans and the need to ensure waste exports do not cause harm to human health or the environment, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed that waste plastic, paper, glass and tyres that have not been processed into value-added recyclable commodities should be subject to an export ban. In anticipation of this commitment, the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation sought our help to assess the impact that such an export ban could have on two of the targeted unprocessed waste categories, paper and plastics. WATC developed a financial model to assess the potential financial impact that a selective waste export ban would have on the Western Australian economy, and evaluated opportunities and associated costs for the development of reprocessing infrastructure within the State. The COAG waste export ban is an important step in Australia taking responsibility for our own waste and using this resource to create jobs, spark innovation, and deliver strong environmental outcomes.
WATC supported the Department of Treasury with the passage of legislation to repurpose the Western Australian Future Fund to become the Future Health Research and Innovation Fund (FHRI Fund), which came into operation on 24 June 2020, and allows for the forecast investment income (as determined by a model developed by WATC) to be distributed into the FHRI Account. This milestone legislation will improve the financial sustainability of health and medical research and innovation in WA through a secure and ongoing source of funding. The increased certainty provided by the FHRI Fund is expected to help create health sector jobs, diversify the economy, improve patient care, and help Western Australia retain its brightest health researchers, innovators and clinicians, as well as attract global projects and partnerships.
The pace of social and economic change over the last quarter of the financial year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, challenged how all state and local government agencies conducted their business. During this time, as part of our responsibility of raising funds to meet the funding priorities of the Government, we worked closely with a range of stakeholders, from across the public sector, to increase flexibility around debt requirements to support the Government and our clients while ensuring ongoing access to critical funds.
For instance, in order to provide the Treasurer with more timely information on the State’s evolving financial position, in response to the pandemic, the frequency of the collection of public sector agencies’ liquid financial asset holdings was increased from monthly to weekly. The ability to be able to effectively increase the frequency of reporting is a direct reflection of the positive collaboration between WATC and our client agencies, and a demonstration of the strength and importance of our relationships within the public sector.
WATC also designed a short-term lending framework to aid local government and university clients impacted by reduced revenue due to the pandemic. Announced by the State Government on 7 May 2020, the new lending facility enabled local governments and universities access to short-term loans to support the liquidity of their operations. The operation of the facility was explained through a series of webinars as well as WATC Client Relationship Managers working with individual clients to determine their specific requirements.
Work with the Department of Treasury to review the Future Health Research and Innovation Fund to ensure it aligns to its purpose and supports the objective of the FHRI Fund Act being met.
Continue to assist Westport as the project moves ahead to the next stage where we refine the cost-benefit analysis on the preferred selection of best possible port options, analyse potential funding arrangements, and support the business case development.
Implement the COVID-19 short-term lending facility to eligible WA local government and public universities. WATC will closely monitor take-up of the initial $100 million commitment, with the Treasurer having flagged the potential for this to be increased depending on the degree of support required by the local government and university sectors.