Plan for Pilbara unveiled as part of WA Recovery Plan

  • Premier Mark McGowan releases Pilbara Recovery Plan
  • Part of $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan to guide WA through COVID-19 recovery
  • Plan will create a pipeline of jobs in the Pilbara and support the local economy
  • Unprecedented investment in local infrastructure, schools, TAFE, community facilities 
  • Support for tourism, local manufacturing, and renewable and new technologies
  • The McGowan Government has unveiled a $211.8 million package for the Pilbara region as part of the WA Recovery Plan, to drive economic and social recovery and create a pipeline of local jobs.

    The Pilbara Recovery Plan is focused on getting locals back to work and includes a significant investment in sectors including construction, manufacturing, tourism and hospitality, renewable energy, education and training, and agriculture.

    It will deliver a pipeline of short and long term jobs supporting and strengthening our existing industries, as well as laying the foundation for jobs of the future.

    As part of the McGowan Government’s $229.2 million Rebuilding our TAFEs package, the plan includes upgrades to TAFE infrastructure in the region, including:

    • $22 million to North Regional TAFE’s Pundulmurra (South Hedland) campus for a new workshop to expand training for plant mechanic and engineering trades as well as commercial cookery, tailored to meet resource sector requirements;
    • $5 million to North Regional TAFE’s Minurmarghali Mia (Roebourne) campus for a new classroom block to expand and deliver training in more modern facilities;
    • $25 million for free TAFE short courses to upskill thousands of Western Australians, with a variety of free courses available North Regional TAFE’s Karratha, Minurmarghali Mia (Roebourne), Newman, Pundulmurra (South Hedland) and Tom Price campuses; and
    • $32 million to expand the Lower Fees, Local Skills program and significantly reduce TAFE fees across 39 high priority courses.

    Schools in the Pilbara are set for significant upgrades, including:

    • $42 million for the redevelopment of Roebourne District High School from kindergarten to secondary school, with specific programs to engage Aboriginal children;
    • $22 million for upgrades and to expand Karratha Senior High School to help meet growth in student numbers, including a new classroom block that will deliver specialist technology learning rooms including engineering robotics, information technology, media studies, food technology, textiles, woodwork and metalwork and STEM;
    • $4 million for a residential facility in Newman to support Martu students from remote communities to participate in secondary education at Newman Senior High School and VET programs; and
    • $3.5 million for new early childhood buildings for kindergarten and pre-primary students at Wickham Primary School.

    The Pilbara Recovery Plan includes investment in local infrastructure to create opportunities for local businesses and jobs for local workers.

    The McGowan Government’s revamped Buy Local policy will ensure local businesses are in the box seat to carry out this work. It includes:

    • $1.7 million to install a Battery Energy System in Marble Bar to improve grid capacity and enable more customers to install solar panels;
    • $1 million towards upgrades to the Newman Wastewater Treatment Plant;
    • $1.63 million towards maintenance and infrastructure upgrades in remote Aboriginal communities including Walagunya, Irrungadji, Gooda Binya and Yandeyarra;
    • $10 million through the Regional Road Safety Program to upgrade 85 kilometres of Pilbara roads with shoulder sealing and installation of audible lines, creating around 50 local jobs;
    • $80 million for targeted maintenance programs for regional social, remote and government workers housing properties, including approximately 2,500 homes in the Pilbara;
    • $141.7 million to refurbish social housing across WA’s ageing housing stock, of this, the Pilbara will benefit from approximately 130 homes;
    • $97 million to build new social housing including around 5 to 10 properties in the Pilbara;
    • $2.01 million towards upgrades of the Police radio network at locations converting from analogue to digital including across the Pilbara;
    • $490,000 for upgrades at the Karratha Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service station; and
    • $710,000 for upgrades at the South Hedland Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service Station.

    The plan also includes a significant investment in infrastructure and programs to drive tourism and create jobs, including:

    • $10 million to build the access road in Murujuga National Park to support the development of the Living Knowledge Centre and World Heritage Listing;
    • $25,000 towards a tourism and development management plan for the culturally significant Aboriginal site at Two Mile Ridge Protected Area that features a vast amount of engravings;
    • $450,000 for conservation works at Roebourne Gaol;
    • $1.02 million for upgrades at Karijini National Park including the access path at Fortescue Falls Lookout and visitor facilities at Dales Campground;
    • $400,000 for upgrades to visitor facilities in national parks across the Pilbara including buildings, trails, camp sites and roads.

    The Pilbara Recovery Plan includes a focus on driving investment in existing and emerging industries. It includes:

    • $10.5 million to upgrade the entrance road to Boodarie Strategic Industrial Area in Hedland;
    • $20 million for Port Hedland’s Inner Harbour for upgrading retaining and sea walls;
    • $51.2 million to Nelson Point Tug Haven for upgrading retaining and sheet pile walls;
    • $7.6 million towards the development of an LNG bunkering hub in the Pilbara by offering concessional port fees for LNG ships refuelling in the Pilbara;
    • An additional $5 million to the Exploration Incentive Scheme in 2020-21 to help accelerate exploration investment across WA and the Pilbara;
    • $116 million for the Regional Land Booster Package that will make residential, commercial and industrial lots more affordable including residential lots in Karratha, Onslow, Newman and South Hedland and industrial lots in Karratha and Hedland;
    • $8.3 million to grow the value of the northern beef industry through the Northern Beef Development program, which will support productivity improvements across pastoral land and the northern cattle herd, and increase Aboriginal capacity and job opportunities;
    • $3.3 million for an accelerated funding round of the Pilbara Environmental Offsets Fund that combines offset contributions from mining companies to enable strategic conservation programs that improve vegetation and biodiversity outcomes and create green jobs;
    • $10 million towards the Clean Energy Future Fund to invest in clean energy technologies; and

    Strengthening Western Australia’s health and community services is a vital component of the WA Recovery Plan. In the Pilbara region, the McGowan Government will invest:

    • $9.77 million for Aboriginal regional suicide prevention plans in each region of WA, prioritising Aboriginal-led and locally endorsed initiatives that accommodate a culturally informed social and emotional wellbeing approach to suicide prevention;
    • $8.6 million of funding for additional outreach workers across WA, including two workers based in the Pilbara, to provide support to women and children experiencing or at further risk of family and domestic violence;
    • $6.7 million to bolster the State’s family and domestic violence response teams, including one additional community sector team member in the Pilbara, to support victims of family and domestic violence after a police call-out; and
    • $1.1 million over two years for counselling, advocacy and support services across WA, including three services in the Pilbara.

    The Pilbara region will also benefit from a range of State-wide programs included in the WA Recovery Plan. For more information, visit https://inthistogether.wa.gov.au

    As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:

    “I thank each and every member of the Pilbara community for their efforts and sacrifices during the pandemic.

    “We must remain vigilant, but our work to reduce the spread of COVID-19 means we are in a strong position to continue the process of recovery.

    “The Pilbara Recovery Plan will drive economic and social recovery in the region, to ensure it can recover stronger than ever.

    “It will create a pipeline of short and long term jobs for locals and deliver huge improvements to local infrastructure and services.”

    As stated by Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel:

    “The Pilbara is the engine of the State’s economy, and I am proud to deliver this Recovery Plan to drive strong economic growth in our local economy.

    “The Pilbara Recovery Plan will create local jobs while reinvesting in the communities that have kept the State’s economy strong, by upgrading schools, roads, housing and community services.

    “I am proud to work with Premier Mark McGowan to deliver this stimulus package which will boost our local economy, and continue our recovery though the COVID-19 crisis.”

    Premier’s office – 6552 5000

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