McGowan Government delivers plan to keep Goldfields strong

  • 2021-22 State Budget provides regional WA with a record $9.1 billion infrastructure investment over the next four years
  • McGowan Government delivering election commitments in the Plan for Goldfields
  • Goldfields to benefit from major $1.9 billion boost to health and mental health funding
  • More than $4.2 billion delivered in the Royalties for Regions program 
  • The McGowan Labor Government is delivering on its plan to keep the Goldfields strong, with the State Budget investing billions to create quality local jobs, fund a pipeline of infrastructure works and deliver key services such as health and education.

    The 2021-22 State Budget delivers a strong surplus which enables the McGowan Government to deliver major investments for all Western Australians – including infrastructure, hospital and mental health services, social housing and climate action initiatives.

    The Budget includes a record $9.1 billion investment in regional infrastructure and $4.2 billion through Royalties for Regions, including $627 million in regional election commitments and other new regional initiatives.

    It includes ongoing support for vital services across regional WA, including $463 million for regional school bus services, and $2 billion to subsidise regional electricity and water costs to keep charges in line with what metropolitan users pay.

    Regional WA will benefit from a share of the $374 million State-wide investment in Aboriginal well-being.

    Delivering the Plan for the Goldfields, the McGowan Government has allocated further support for jobs, TAFE, health, schools, regional roads, tourism and community facilities.

    The 2021-22 State Budget will continue efforts to revitalise WA’s TAFE and training sector, with a $198 million investment per annum in regional WA over the next four years, including:

    • Delivering the $10 million heavy plant and engineering trades workshop at Central Regional TAFE’s Kalgoorlie campus;
    • Continuing the Lower fees, local skills program, which has seen an increase of 32 per cent in enrolments in the Goldfields in 2021;
    • $25 million to WA TAFEs for new state-of-the-art equipment;
    • $29.8 million to provide 8,000 additional VET places in schools across WA, on top of an additional 1,350 VET places introduced in 2021;
    • $19.2 million VET career taster program for year 9 students; and
    • $37 million towards the Employer Incentive Scheme in regional WA. 

    The McGowan Government will continue to focus on delivering high quality healthcare for all Western Australians, regardless of where they live, including:

    • $1.9 billion investment in health and mental health to improve services throughout WA, including more doctors and nurses in the regions;
    • $23.47 million towards the new Laverton Hospital project;
    • $1.78 million over four years to recruit a General Practitioner to expand primary health services, including a cervical cancer screening service, at the existing Goldfields Women’s Health Care Centre;
    • $2.8 million to construct a purpose-built Therapy Centre in Kalgoorlie to enable children with special needs to access specialised therapies and allied health;
    • $19.7 million for the Patient Assisted Travel Scheme (PATS), increasing the accommodation subsidy to $100 per night, and increasing escort eligibility for people from vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, including women travelling to give birth;
    • An additional five paid paramedics in Kalgoorlie and one in Laverton;
    • The Goldfields will share in $2 million to support the work of regional renal support teams;
    • The Goldfields will share in $17.6 million towards social and emotional well-being services for Aboriginal people in regional WA;
    • $9.2 million to extend Strong Spirit Strong Mind;
    • Kalgoorlie’s Acute Psychiatric Unit will share in $1.7 million for upgrades; and
    • $10.9 million to the Royal Flying Doctor Service to upgrade aircraft engines. 

    The McGowan Government will continue its strong investment in job-creating projects to drive economic development and tourism, including:

    • $200 million to improve the State’s agricultural supply chain, delivering upgrades to transport infrastructure to improve the freight network;
    • $100 million Investment Attraction and New Industries Fund;
    • $120 million for more than 150 frontline officers to speed up project approvals;
    • $12.1 million to implement the regional component of the Jina: Western Australian Aboriginal Tourism Action Plan 2021-25;
    • $45 million to expand the Aboriginal Rangers Program;
    • Continuing the successful $40 million Regional Economic Development grants program, which since 2018 has invested $2.2 million in 16 projects in the Goldfields-Esperance region, helping to create over 78 local jobs;
    • $12.9 million boost to regional arts programs; and
    • $19.8 million across the State to make air travel for regional residents more affordable. 

    The State Budget also includes important investment in quality education for young people in the regions, including:

    • $1.5 billion will be spent each year to provide regional students with a quality education, in addition to $427.5 million over the next four years for refurbishments, upgrades and new builds for regional primary and secondary schools;
    • $1 million for a new STEM classroom at Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community College;
    • $485,000 STEM upgrade and primary science refurbishment at Kambalda West District High School;
    • Virtual Power Plants at three Kalgoorlie schools;
    • Investment into science resources for Boulder Primary School, Kalgoorlie School of the Air and the region’s district high schools and remote community schools. 

    After delivering record investment in regional roads over the past four years, the McGowan Government will oversee another significant investment into regional roads, including:

    • $4.5 billion for major road projects and programs throughout regional WA;
    • $52 million for Coolgardie Esperance Highway at Emu Rocks;
    • $160,000 to construct a new traffic island on John Street, Kalgoorlie to improve intersection layout, including pedestrian crossings for primary school children; and
    • The Goldfields-Esperance region will share in over $46 million from the Regional Road Safety Program to upgrade more than 1,600 kilometres of roads with safety treatments. 

    The Goldfields will share in a $17.8 million investment for the placement of 36 additional career firefighters in Geraldton, Albany and Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

    The Kalgoorlie Career Fire and Rescue Station will also be upgraded to accommodate the additional personnel at a cost of $1.2 million.

    The 2021-22 State Budget also includes significant investment to help keep Western Australians active, healthy and connected with their communities, including:

    • $5 million for a major upgrade of the Niels Hansen Basketball Stadium;
    • $2.1 million for a new Youth Precinct in the Kalgoorlie City Centre, unifying Kingsbury Park and Lord Forrest into a central, youth focused precinct;
    • $600,000 to build a large scale Nature Playground on the site of the Karlkurla Bushland Park, which comprises 200 hectares of natural regrowth bushland;
    • $14 million to continue the Aboriginal Community Connectors program, including in Kalgoorlie; and
    • $510,000 to undertake upgrades at Boulder Camp in Kalgoorlie. 

    The State Budget also includes $2.5 million to trial a Banned Drinkers Register in the Goldfields and $1 million to upgrade and expand the CCTV network in Kalgoorlie.

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    As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:

    “My Government’s responsible financial management is enabling us to invest in the region and keep the Goldfields strong – creating local jobs, building a pipeline of infrastructure works and supporting vital services like health and education.

    “We’re funding our Plan for the Goldfields to keep the regional economy growing, while delivering on our election commitments for the local community.

    “Our WA Jobs Plan preferences Western Australians for local jobs first, as we work to diversify the regional economy in the Goldfields, attract investment and build a skilled workforce for the future.

    “The 2021-22 State Budget is working to deliver a strong and vibrant region, with quality local services that give people every reason to live, work and raise a family in the Goldfields.”

    As stated by Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:

    “Our Government is continuing to build strong and resilient regional communities, working to diversify our regional economies and create local jobs.

    “We are delivering on our election commitments, and helping our regions to embrace future opportunities and 21st century industries.”

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