Recovery Budget delivers relief for Pilbara families and drives economic activity

  • 2020-21 State Budget focused on keeping WA safe and strong
  • Pilbara region residents to receive $600 credit on electricity bills
  • 800 additional police officers to be recruited across the State, on top of 300 already being delivered  
  • $7.5 billion investment in infrastructure in regional WA, supporting WA jobs
  • Budget locks in funding for all Pilbara region WA Recovery Plan projects
  • Major investment in local job-creating infrastructure and important services
  • McGowan Government delivers record investment for the region
  • The McGowan Government’s strong investment in the Pilbara 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 Pilbara 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:

    • $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.
    • $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.
    • $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;
    • $10 million to build the access road in Murujuga National Park to support the development of the Living Knowledge Centre and World Heritage Listing; and
    • $400,000 for upgrades to visitor facilities in national parks across the Pilbara including buildings, trails, camp sites and roads.
    • $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;
    • $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; and
    • $1 million to upgrade Newman’s wastewater treatment plant.

    To view the full list of Pilbara region WA Recovery Plan projects funded in the State Budget, visit

    The McGowan Government has a record of major investment in the Pilbara region over the past four years. Projects currently underway or completed include:

    • $310 million for the ongoing construction of the Karratha to Tom Price Road;
    • $136.5 million in funding towards the Port Hedland Spoilbank Marina and waterfront development;
    • $54 million towards the upgrade of the Marble Bar Road through Coongan Gorge;
    • $10 million through the Regional Road Safety Program in 2020-21, creating around 50 local jobs;
    • $13.8 million to the Pilbara Health Initiative for medical specialists to service Karratha Health Campus and surrounding areas;
    • $61.4 million to redevelop the Newman Health Service, includes a $15 million contribution from BHP;
    • $15 million towards much-needed upgrades and repairs at Hedland Senior High School;
    • $8 million to complete work on the Karratha Health Campus;
    • $5.2 million towards Tom Price Hospital;
    • $14.8 million towards the Step Up/Step Down mental health facility in Karratha;
    • $1.33 million towards the Murujuga Living Knowledge Centre and Tourism Precinct at Conzinc Bay;
    • $649,000 to implement the Murujuga Rock Art Strategy;
    • $20 million to continue the Aboriginal Rangers Program;
    • Launched the Local Jobs Portal in Karratha with Woodside;
    • Appointed a Local Content Advisor in the Pilbara;
    • Approximately $14.3 million for maintenance upgrades to schools in the Pilbara as part of the maintenance blitz;
    • $5 million towards the Paraburdoo Sports, Fitness and Community Complex;
    • $17.8 million to support the Karlarra House residential aged care facility in Port Hedland;
    • $2 million towards the WEB Business Hub innovation space in Port Hedland;
    • $2 million towards the Victoria Hotel redevelopment in Roebourne;
    • $5.9 million for the Transforming Agriculture in the Pilbara initiative;
    • $7 million Pilbara education initiatives to drive better education outcomes in the region; and
    • $1.59 million to drive local jobs in the Pilbara through the Regional Economic Development (RED) Grants program.

    For more information, visit

    As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:

    “Pilbara 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 Pilbara 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 regional WA.

    “We’re getting on with delivering long-awaited projects that the Pilbara really needs to diversify its economy – like the Spoilbank Marina in Hedland, and the Karratha-Tom Price Road.

    “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

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