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New South Wales Forecasts A$824 Million Deficit in 2012/13

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June 12 (Bloomberg) -- New South Wales, home to about a third of Australia’s nearly 23 million people, forecast a wider budget deficit in the fiscal year beginning July 1.

The shortfall will increase to A$824 million ($815 million) next fiscal year from a projected deficit of A$337 million in the 12 months to June 30, Treasurer Mike Baird told the state parliament today, citing falling revenue from the Goods and Services Tax. The state government expects to return to surplus in 2013/14, he said.

“You must live within your means,” Baird said. “We have taken control of our finances.” New South Wales plans to lease the shipping terminal at Wollongong’s Port Kembla to the private sector to increase revenue, Baird said.

The state is in the slow lane of Australia’s so-called two-speed economy, where resource-rich regions in the north and west are powering growth while tourism, manufacturing and retail industries in the south and east struggle with the effects of a strong local currency.

New South Wales has a AAA credit rating from Standard & Poor’s and Baird said on May 31 he will revise legislation to ensure expenses grow less than long-term revenue to protect that status.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Heath at mheath1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Tighe at ptighe@bloomberg.net

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