The McGowan Government’s strong investment in the Wheatbelt 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 Wheatbelt 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:
- $8 million to the Muresk Institute in Northam for a new trades workshop, classrooms and specialist facilities for agricultural machinery apprentices and a new workshop space for shearing skills;
- $2 million to Central Regional TAFE’s Northam campus for major upgrades to workshop facilities and equipment;
- $25 million for free TAFE short courses to upskill thousands of Western Australians, with a variety of free courses available at South Regional TAFE’s Narrogin campus;
- $32 million to expand the Lower Fees, Local Skills program and significantly reduce TAFE fees across 39 high priority courses;
- $35 million through the Regional Road Safety Program to upgrade 400 kilometres of Wheatbelt roads with shoulder sealing and installation of audible lines, creating around 150 local jobs;
- $425,000 for upgrades to visitor facilities in Nambung National Park, including improving services at the Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre and sealing the access road and car park at Lake Thetis; and
- $175,000 for upgrades to visitor facilities in parks across the Wheatbelt region, including upgrading buildings, trails, camp sites and roads in the proposed Dryandra Woodland National Park and at Eaglestone Rock.
To view the full list of Wheatbelt region WA Recovery Plan projects funded in the State Budget, visit https://www.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-08/Wheatbelt%20Recovery%20Plan.pdf
The McGowan Government has a record of major investment in the Wheatbelt region over the past four years. Projects currently underway or completed include:
- More than $45 million across four years for building Western Australian grains research and development capacity;
- $2 million to establish a national park in the Helena and Aurora Ranges as part of Plan for Our Parks;
- $87.5 million for the Wheatbelt Secondary Freight Route;
- $22.5 million towards road safety treatments to the Great Eastern Highway from Walgoolan to Southern Cross;
- $17.68 million towards the Central East Aged Care Alliance network of 71 independent living units across 11 Wheatbelt shires;
- $10 million of funding allocated to AgLime transport networks to support the safe and efficient travel of freight vehicles;
- $42 million redevelopment on the Northam Health Service;
- $17.7 million for the redevelopment and upgrade of Merredin District Hospital in the Eastern Wheatbelt District and the Narrogin District Health Campus in the Upper Great Southern District;
- $5.23 million upgrades to the Jurien Bay Health Centre;
- $5.3 million upgrades to Moora Health Service;
- $4.6 million to support educational programs at Muresk Institute;
- $1.8 million to upgrade the Merredin Dryland Research Institute;
- $2 million through the Digital Farm program to roll out high-speed broadband to farm businesses across the Wheatbelt;
- Approximately $3.2 million in maintenance works at Wheatbelt hospitals;
- Approximately $7.7 million in maintenance work on Wheatbelt schools;
- $4.8 million to upgrade the Cunderdin Pump Station;
- $2.8 million for aged accommodation in Wickepin, Kondinin, Cuballing and Corrigin through the Wheatbelt South Aged Housing Alliance; and
- $1.38 million to drive local jobs in the Wheatbelt through the Regional Economic Development (RED) Grants program.
For more information, visit https://www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“Wheatbelt 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 Wheatbelt 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 Wheatbelt.
“Our Government’s commitment to rebuilding agricultural R&D will ensure the bedrock of the Wheatbelt economy – broadacre agriculture – remains competitive into the 21st century.
“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