The McGowan Government’s strong investment in the Mid-West region continues, with the State Budget funding vital job-creating projects and services to assist with the region’s recovery.
As part of the unprecedented $644 million WA Household Electricity Credit, households in the Mid-West region will receive a $600 credit on their electricity bill by the end of the year.
This first-of-its kind announcement recognises that financial support and relief for Western Australians is important to help continue our recovery from the pandemic.
The region will also benefit from the McGowan Government’s major announcement to recruit 800 more police officers, on top of the 300 new police officers already being delivered.
This is the largest increase on record, and is expected to result in WA having the highest number of police officers per person of all States.
The Budget includes a total of $4.2 billion in Royalties for Regions funding across regional WA, and a $7.5 billion investment in infrastructure in the regions.
The McGowan Government continues to support vital services across regional WA, such as $239.8 million for regional school bus services, $1 billion to subsidise water costs for country users, and $200 million to support remote Aboriginal communities.
The Budget fully funds the suite of regional projects announced as part of the $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan, which is delivering support for businesses and households, and driving jobs and economic growth in the region.
The 2020-21 State Budget includes:
- $2 million to Central Regional TAFE’s Geraldton campus for Visual Arts Refurbishment Works to create more specialised art spaces for fashion design, jewellery making, multimedia and digital technologies;
- $4 million across the State to upgrade maritime training vessels at TAFEs, including Central Regional TAFE’s Geraldton campus to ensure safety and training using modern maritime facilities to deliver industry relevant training programs in maritime operations, fishing operations, boating services, tourism and coxswains;
- $25 million for free TAFE short courses to upskill thousands of Western Australians, with a variety of free courses available at Central Regional TAFE’s Geraldton campus;
- $32 million to expand the Lower Fees, Local Skills program and significantly reduce TAFE fees across 39 high priority courses;
- $400,000 for upgrades to classrooms at Allendale Primary School;
- $400,000 for upgrades to classrooms and student areas at Rangeway Primary School;
- $200,000 for upgrades to classrooms and student areas at Bluff Point Primary School;
- $100,000 for upgrades to classrooms and student areas at Geraldton Primary School;
- $10 million for Geraldton Port’s Wharf 4 Strengthening and Rail Replacement project that will upgrade a key piece of infrastructure and pave the way for long-term growth in mineral sands exports;
- funding to fast-track the design and construction of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s Geraldton Marine Finfish Nursery and increase its production capability;
- $18 million for the construction of a 75-bed Aboriginal short stay accommodation facility in Geraldton, providing temporary accommodation for Aboriginal people visiting Geraldton;
- $810,000 for upgrades at Dongara Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service;
- $13.5 million through the Regional Road Safety Program to upgrade 76 kilometres of Mid-West roads with shoulder sealing and installation of audible lines, creating around 50 local jobs;
- $3 million towards the construction of two new fast speed ferry jetties for passenger and commercial boats, including supporting new marine tourism ventures and tourism developments at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands;
- $1.58 million for upgrades to Geraldton Fishing Boat Harbour including upgrades to walkways, visitor facilities, fuel bowsers and street lights;
- $6 million for the Regional Aviation Recovery Program to ensure affordable airfares for residents and tourists, including between Perth and Mid-West destinations, to stimulate visitation between July and October 2020;
- $450,000 for upgrades to visitor facilities in national parks across the Geraldton and Murchison areas, including upgrades to the access road at Thundelarra Homestead and providing disabled access toilets in Karara Rangeland Park; and
- $50,000 for line marking on the Kalbarri Skywalk access road to guide overseas visitors to have a safe visit to Kalbarri National Park.
To view the full list of Mid-West region WA Recovery Plan projects funded in the State Budget, visit https://www.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-08/Mid%20West%20Recovery%20Plan.pdf
The McGowan Government has a record of major investment in the Mid-West region over the past four years. Projects currently underway or completed include:
- $10 million to better protect the Houtman Abrolhos Islands and create tourism and job opportunities;
- $82.3 million for the redevelopment of the Geraldton Health Campus;
- $10.2 million for the Geraldton Step Up/Step Down mental health facility;
- $7 million to build and operate a state-of-the-art marine finfish nursery in Geraldton;
- Local recruitment of 46 new prison officers for Greenough Regional Prison from the Geraldton community as part of new local recruitment program;
- $3.6 million to upgrade firefighting infrastructure at the Port of Geraldton;
- $35 million to upgrade roads related to the Square Kilometre Array project;
- $6.5 million to upgrade the Geraldton Airport runway;
- Invested $4.4 million to upgrade the intersection of North West Coastal Highway and Hosken Street to improve safety;
- $1 million for the Dongara Age Appropriate Accommodation Facility;
- $1.5 million through the Digital Farm program to roll out high-speed broadband to Mid-West farms;
- $1.59 million to construct cell fences in the Murchison to support the sheep industry in the region;
- $21.4 million in upgrades to Champion Bay Senior High School;
- $2.1 million for maintenance upgrades to schools in the Mid-West as part of the maintenance blitz;
- $12.3 million for fortifying fencing between male and female prisoners at Greenough Regional Prison, in response to the 2018 riot;
- Construction has commenced on the $10.8 million project for upgrading of the water supply infrastructure in Geraldton; and
- $1.59 million to drive local jobs in the Mid-West through the Regional Economic Development (RED) Grants program.
For more information, visit https://www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“Mid-West region households are big winners in the State Budget.
“Financial support and relief for Western Australians is important to help continue our recovery from the pandemic. That’s why we’ve taken the unprecedented step of giving households across WA a $600 credit on their electricity bill this year.
“We know that the pandemic has been extremely challenging for many in our community, and this assistance will make life a little easier for local families.
“I’m also pleased to announce that the local community will benefit from our major boost to police officers. This is the largest increase on record, placing more officers out on the beat and keeping the community safe.
“The State Budget fully delivers on the $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan, which includes major upgrades to infrastructure and services in the Mid-West region, driving economic recovery and creating a pipeline of local jobs.
“Even though COVID-19 caused the largest global economic shock in nearly 100 years, WA’s economic and financial position is better than first expected due to our world-leading response and border controls.
“By keeping WA safe and strong, Western Australia can recover from COVID-19, stronger than ever.”
As stated by Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“The State Budget continues our record of investment in the Mid-West.
“We’re investing heavily into the Port of Geraldton to pave the way for future growth in the region, while backing in 21st century industries through our focus on renewable hydrogen in the Mid-West and strong investment in enterprise-grade broadband through the Digital Farm program.
“The McGowan Government’s ongoing guarantee to deliver Royalties for Regions ensures Western Australians have access to quality services, no matter where they live.
“For the past four years, we have been focused on creating local jobs, delivering our election commitments in the region, and ensuring we continue to improve local infrastructure and services like hospitals and schools.”
Premier’s office – 6552 5000