How does that compare to other OECD countries during the period of the GFC?
Call me a GFC skeptic if you have to, but I call it the 'Northern Hemisphere Financial Crisis'.
The fact is the so called GFC barely touched Australia, and don't kid yourself that giving every citizen $900 (or multiples there of) even if overseas, to spend on imported goods saved the economy. Building school halls, installing pink bats and Recovering Roads didn't do it either.
Remember what Australia was like when the 'GFC' came? We'd just changed Government, had a negative debt to GDP, mining exports that were on the boom.
What 'got Australia through' was not anything the ALP did, it was what the RBA did, (and the RBA does not listen to Governments - thankfully!), along with the Chinese stimulating their economy, with some help from the AUD900 payments turning up there for goods.
But what about other countries? Hmmm, our closest economic partner, New Zealand, what were they doing? They had a significant debt to GDP, effectively what ours is now (slightly higher probably), where are they now? Negative debt to GDP (almost where ours was pre 'GFC'). Next year NZ will be in surplus.
What did NZ do to get to this fiscal position? Stimulate the economy with wasted payments? No.
NZ did what was sensible, balanced budgets, lowering personal income tax (nearly halving it), lowering company tax which kept people employable and aided the employing of more and lifting their GST to discourage spending and encourage saving. They spent a small amount on stimulous, but this was specifically targeted at businesses to retain staff. They further built confidence in business by allowing for tax payments to be deferred. As an aside, business confidence (roughly linked to the likelyhood you'll keep your job) has gone down in Australia, but it's gone up in the USA... Who would have thought that?
Along the way, you might recall NZ also had some ground shakes that damaged their second city... Several times...
Did Australia do okay through the GFC that didn't make it here, we passed, if by passing we mean avoiding recession, but NZ went from recession to growth, without the massive debts we've been saddled, and without epic mining output.