The McGowan Labor Government is setting Goldfields-Esperance up for the long-term – diversifying the economy, boosting regional health and mental health investment, and providing important cost of living relief for local households.
The 2022-23 State Budget includes a record $12 billion investment in regional infrastructure – only eight per cent of which is being delivered through Royalties for Regions.
Royalties for Regions expenditure is more than $4.2 billion over the next four years and includes $263 million in regional election commitments and other new initiatives.
Western Australia’s strong financial position also gives the State Government the capacity to boost regional health and mental health investment by $158.3 million, in addition to $1.6 billion of State-wide COVID-19 response and recovery measures, including free Rapid Antigen Tests for regional communities.
Cost of living support includes the $400 Household Electricity Credit for WA households across the State, which will see household fees and charges decline by 3.8 per cent – the third consecutive year fees and charges have been kept below projected inflation.
More than $2 billion will be invested to keep regional water and electricity costs in line with what metropolitan users pay.
A total of $541.3 million will be invested to continue funding regional school bus services around the State, with $48.6 million to establish the Regional Digital Connectivity Program to improve mobile and internet coverage in the country.
About $1.5 billion per year will be invested to provide regional students with access to quality education, including $349.2 million for refurbishments, upgrades and new builds at regional primary and secondary schools over the next four years.
Regional WA TAFEs will share in around $200 million a year for vocational education and training, career and employment advice, and TAFE support services.
To keep the community safe, more than $410 million a year will be invested in WA Police’s regional districts.
The McGowan Government’s Australian-first cap on regional airfares begins July 1, delivering on a major election commitment to make airfares more affordable for regional residents.
The cap means Goldfields-Esperance residents will pay no more than $199 each way for flights to and from Perth and Kalgoorlie, Esperance, Laverton, Wiluna and Leonora, when booked as return flights.
The 2022-23 Budget will continue the McGowan Government’s work to diversify the Goldfields-Esperance economy, create local jobs and support tourism, and includes:
- $11 million for industrial development at Lot 350 in Kalgoorlie;
- $3.9 million to the Port of Esperance for the installation of a flush tank and filtration system at Berth 2;
- $19.9 million to implement joint management arrangements for the Matuwa Kurrara Kurrara National Park and Lake Carnegie Nature Reserve, and improvements to the Lorna Glen homestead;
- $21.1 million boost towards Tourism WA’s Destination Marketing to encourage tourists to come to WA and travel across the State;
- $17.7 million to Tourism WA to develop new tourism experiences in WA’s national parks;
- additional $80 million to the Investment Attraction Fund to attract new industries and economic diversification across the State, bringing the total to $180 million;
- additional $50 million to the Industrial Land Development Fund to develop industrial-ready land across the State, bringing the total to $100 million;
- $25 million for the Western Australia Agricultural Collaboration to grow agriculture research and development in WA;
- $12 million for the WA-Array seismic survey to unlock new mineral deposits and job-creating opportunities around the State;
- $6 million to Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia to pursue strategic research opportunities, including critical minerals and clean energy technologies;
- bringing regional road maintenance jobs in-house to Main Roads, securing 490 jobs in regional WA, including a new depot in Esperance and upgrading the Kalgoorlie-Boulder depot; and
- $4.5 million boost to the Local Capability Fund to assist local businesses to increase their capability and competitiveness.
The McGowan Government’s strong investment in regional health and mental health continues, with:
- $30.1 million for 18 additional paramedics and six ambulances across regional WA, delivering on a key election commitment;
- $11 million to ensure there is a nurse 24/7 at emergency departments, including in the Great Southern;
- $18.5 million to expand Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services across regional WA;
- $5.1 million to continue the Mental Health Emergency Telehealth Service to ensure regional residents can access mental health services; and
- $6.1 million funding boost to the Preventing Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder project.
The State Budget also includes important investment in education and training for young people in Goldfields-Esperance, including:
- $113.1 million of fee reductions will be achieved in regional WA through the successful ‘Lower fees, local skills’ initiative;
- $2.4 million to attract international students to live and study in regional WA, addressing skills needs in aged care, disability services, childcare, hospitality and tourism;
- $4.5 million for a new tool rebate to support building and construction apprentices and trainees in their purchase of trade-related tools and safety equipment; and
- $42.5 million for State-wide COVID-19 measures in schools, including enhanced cleaning programs, mask and personal protective equipment supplies, and Rapid Antigen Test distribution.
The 2022-23 State Budget brings continued investment in local roads and transport projects, including:
- $500 million sealing of the remaining lengths of Outback Way, which will provide a third sealed route across Australia;
- $120 million for Moorine Rock to Mount Holland road upgrades to support the Covalent lithium mine;
- $2.9 million for eight new fast recharging stations across four locations on a section of National Highway 1 between Norseman and Eucla to ensure WA’s fast recharging network extends to South Australia;
- about $200 million for the Resealing Program in regional WA;
- $146 million for the Safer Roads and Bridges Program in regional WA;
- bringing regional road maintenance jobs back to Main Roads, creating 490 jobs in regional WA, including a new depot in Esperance and upgrading the Kalgoorlie-Boulder depot;
- almost $60 million for the Clean Energy Car Fund;
- $1.5 million to expand the Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) taxi service grant scheme, including a new Regional WAV Taxi Service Grant Scheme to expand taxi services to people of all abilities in regional WA; and
- an additional $159 million to the Regional Road Safety Program, bringing the total cost of the program to $828 million. This program has already delivered upgraded shoulders and installed audible edges to more than 1,495 kilometres of roads in the Goldfields-Esperance region.
The 2022-23 State Budget will ensure Goldfields-Esperance communities are kept safe and strong, with important investments in:
- $19.1 million for the development of new residential land in two regional locations, including Kalgoorlie;
- $10.5 million to transition Esperance residents and businesses from reticulated gas to new energy solutions, in advance of the closure of the area’s privately-owned gas network;
- $6 million to operate and maintain three pools in Ngaanyatjarraku Lands remote communities;
- $2.5 million towards Operation Regional Shield to tackle youth crime in regional WA;
- $350 million Remote Communities Fund to support improved water, electricity and municipal services, and increase supply of appropriate housing in remote Aboriginal communities;
- $11 million for a Large Air Tanker to be permanently based in regional WA during bushfire season for the first time;
- $15.9 million upgrade to the Emergency WA website;
- $3.9 million to upgrade the Direct Brigade Alarms Network across WA;
- $3.1 million for the Bushfire Framework Review to improve bushfire preparedness;
- $99.4 million for Government Regional Officers’ Housing across regional WA; and
- additional $2 million to Community Resource Centres.
For more information, visit https://www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au
As stated by Premier and Treasurer Mark McGowan:
“The State Budget is investing in Goldfields-Esperance’s future, diversifying the regional economy, keeping WA fair and creating local jobs for the long-term.
“WA’s strong financial position enables us to provide important cost of living support for Goldfields-Esperance families, while continuing to pay down debt and keep the State’s finances healthy.
“We are providing a major boost to regional health and mental health, ensuring there are more doctors, nurses and resources in Goldfields-Esperance, with continued funding to manage COVID-19.
“The WA Jobs Plan is working to support thousands of new jobs in regional WA, with millions of dollars worth in job-creating investment in resources, agriculture and emerging industries.
“Our record investment in regional infrastructure, ongoing commitment to Royalties for Regions and quality service delivery will ensure Goldfields-Esperance continues to be a terrific place to live.”
As stated by Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“The State Government is continuing to focus on strengthening and diversifying opportunities for Goldfields-Esperance communities.
“We are working hard to support and grow established sectors like resources and primary industries, while providing important investment so Goldfields-Esperance can capitalise on new economic opportunities.
“Our record investment in regional infrastructure and strong focus on regional health and economic diversification is making sure Goldfields-Esperance is well placed to prosper into the future.”
As stated by Kalgoorlie MLA Ali Kent:
“I’ve been advocating long and hard in this space, and I’m thrilled that the Budget provides continued strong support to the Goldfields’ resources sector.
“Our local industry has helped power the State and the nation through the pandemic, and this Budget makes sure the sector is supported to continue creating local jobs for local people.
“I’m proud to be part of a Government whose careful financial management is enabling strong investment in local health, police and schools – as well as continued cost of living relief to help with the household budget.”