The market had expected to see a decline of several per cent, in keeping with the trend.
Several other states saw an uptick in actual capital investment in the December quarter.
Estimate 1 is generally well understated, but this figure is down by some 20 per cent on the prior year equivalent estimate.
The outlook for non-mining industries now seems to be improving, up by 9 per cent, the lower dollar driving a moderate improvement in the manufacturing outlook.
The big picture is that mining investment could fall by two thirds across the 2016 and 2017 financial years.
In one sense it will be a relief when we finally get there, but investment plans elsewhere don't appear to have lifted as strongly as had been hoped.
Futures markets are pricing at least one interest rate cut in this calendar year and are toying with two.
Analysts are focussing in on May as a likely month for the Reserve Bank pulling the trigger for the first time.