The McGowan Labor Government is setting the Kimberley up for the long-term – diversifying the economy and creating jobs, 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 the 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 RATs 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 $541.3 million will be invested to continue to fund 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 $40.4 million Kimberley Youth and Community Justice Response is providing funding to:
- develop an on-country residential facility for young offenders;
- expand the successful Target 120 to Broome, Derby, Halls Creek and Fitzroy Crossing; and
- provide more resources for police and juvenile justice programs.
An investment of $350 million will establish a new Remote Communities Fund to improve the delivery of water, power and housing in remote Aboriginal communities.
The McGowan Government’s Australian-first cap on regional airfares also begins July 1 – with Kimberley residents to pay no more than $299 each way for flights to and from Perth to Broome and Kununurra, when booked as return flights.
This delivers on a significant McGowan Government election commitment to make airfares more affordable for regional residents.
The 2022-23 Budget will continue the McGowan Government’s efforts to diversify the Kimberley economy, create local jobs and support tourism, and includes:
- $80 million boost to the Investment Attraction Fund, increasing it to $180 million;
- $50 million boost to the Industrial Land Development Fund, increasing it to $100 million;
- $25 million to establish the new Western Australian Agricultural Collaboration;
- $21.1 million boost to Tourism WA’s destination marketing to encourage tourists to come to WA and travel into the regions;
- $17.7 million for Tourism WA to develop new tourism experiences in national parks;
- $12 million for the WA-Array seismic survey to unlock new mineral deposits;
- $4.5 million boost to the Local Capability Fund to assist local businesses;
- $5 million to support the development of local liquefied natural gas (LNG) decommissioning industry;
- Bringing regional road maintenance jobs in-house to Main Roads, securing 490 ongoing jobs in regional WA, including a new depot in Broome and upgrades to the Derby and Kununurra depots; and
- $11.5 million for a new fisheries patrol vessel for northern WA.
The McGowan Government’s significant investment in regional health and mental health continues, with:
- $920,000 for the planning and design of a new renal dialysis centre in Halls Creek;
- an additional $2.3 million for the Broome Step Up/Step Down unit to address construction cost pressures, bringing the total cost to $9.4 million;
- $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 Kimberley;
- $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 have access to mental health services;
- $5 million for upgrades to health staff accommodation in regional WA, including in the Kimberley; and
- $6.1 million funding boost to the Preventing Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder project in regional WA.
The State Budget also includes important investment in education and training for people in the Kimberley, including:
- $5.5 million to extend the Driving Access and Equity Program that assists young people in the Kimberley to obtain a driver’s licence;
- $113.1 million of fee reductions will be achieved in regional WA through the successful Lower fees, local skills initiative;
- $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;
- $2.4 million to attract international students to live in regional WA, addressing skills needs in aged care, disability services, childcare, hospitality and tourism; and
- $42.5 million for State-wide COVID-19 measures in schools.
The 2022-23 State Budget brings continued investment in regional roads and transport projects, including:
- $500 million to seal the Tanami Road to the WA border;
- $4.1 million to expand the Inter-Regional Flight Network across the Mid-West, Pilbara and Kimberley – with operator Aviar planning to upgrade its aircraft on the network, which will increase capacity and improve affordability;
- 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 2,238 kilometres of Kimberley roads;
- Around $200 million for the Resealing Program in regional WA;
- $146 million for the Safer Roads and Bridges Program in regional WA;
- Almost $60 million for the Clean Energy Car Fund; and
- $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.
The 2022-23 State Budget will ensure Kimberley communities are kept safe and strong, with important investments in:
- $30.4 million to build a new district support facility for WA Police in Broome;
- $1.9 million to fit out and lease a new WA Police facility in Kununurra;
- $4.5 million to help address family violence by extending the Derby Family Violence Service and The Change Em Ways Kimberley Project;
- $23.9 million to expand the Earlier Intervention and Family Support Strategy, including trialing the program in Halls Creek;
- $640,000 to undertake place-based design service design for Kununurra and Geraldton Short Stays, and also to evaluate existing Aboriginal Short Stay Accommodation services across the State including in Broome and Derby;
- $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 (GROH) across regional WA;
- $2 million to expand the Solar Incentive Scheme in the Kimberley;
- $2 million for Community Resource Centres in regional WA; and
- An additional $2.5 million to extend Banned Drinkers Register.
For more information, visit https://www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au
As stated by Premier and Treasurer Mark McGowan:
“The State Budget is investing in the Kimberley’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 Kimberley 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 the Kimberley, 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 job-creating investment in tourism, resources and emerging industries.
“Our record investment in regional infrastructure, ongoing commitment to Royalties for Regions and quality service delivery will ensure the Kimberley 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 Kimberley communities.
“We are working hard to support and grow established sectors like resources and primary industries, while providing important investment so the Kimberley can capitalise on new economic opportunities.
“Our record investment in regional infrastructure and strong focus on regional health and economic diversification is making sure the Kimberley is well placed to prosper into the future.”
As stated by Kimberley MLA Divina D’Anna:
“This Budget is investing millions of dollars to improve our region, create local jobs, and support families and young people with the $40.4 million Kimberley Youth and Community Justice Response.
“The $350 million Remote Communities Fund will provide critical support to our remote communities, with millions more to be invested in schools, local training and health.”