State Budget delivers major environment and water investment

The Cook Labor Government's commitment to strong environmental protections and Western Australia's water security will be bolstered by $536 million in new investments in the 2024-25 State Budget.
  • Significant $536 million investment to protect WA's pristine environment
  • Funding to support Cook Labor Government's landmark Plan for Our Parks and Forest Management Plan
  • Major investment to upgrade vital water infrastructure and bolster water security

The Cook Labor Government's commitment to strong environmental protections and Western Australia's water security will be bolstered by $536 million in new investments in the 2024-25 State Budget.

The Cook Government has progressed a number of important initiatives over the past 12 months to boost climate action, protect WA's pristine environment and secure the State's water future, including:

  • moving to legislate the State's net zero commitment;
  • ending native forest logging;
  • continuing the biggest expansion of WA's conservation estate in history; and
  • starting site works on Perth's third desalination plant at Alkimos.

Those decisions will now be supported by a $73 million investment in Plan for Our Parks and a $67.2 million investment in the Forest Management Plan (FMP) 2024-33.

That funding will support a range of initiatives, including creation of the proposed South Coast Marine Park and Fortescue Marsh Nature Reserve, and dozens of jobs to support the FMP's implementation.

An additional $320 million has been committed to upgrade vital water infrastructure across the State, which will both unlock development opportunities and help secure water supply in the regions.

This includes a $79.9 million investment to replace vital Water Corporation infrastructure across WA through a water and wastewater pipeline renewals program.

A further $64.3 million has also been allocated to boost water security in the Pilbara. That includes an additional $25.2 million to construct the Onslow Desalination Plant, which will be able to provide 1.5 million litres of clean drinking water per day to the Pilbara when operating at full capacity.

The funding also includes $39.1 million to support Burrup Seawater Supply Scheme upgrades.

Future upgrades to the Goldfields and Agricultural Water Supply Scheme are being prioritised under an initial $15 million commitment to undertake critical planning and design work, supporting long-term economic development in the Goldfields and Wheatbelt.

An additional $21.2 million investment will support the State Government's environmental monitoring, compliance and enforcement activities, including for Alcoa's mining operations in the Darling Ranges.

Other initiatives funded in the Budget include:

  • more than $30 million to strengthen regional bushfire management in national parks and State forest;
  • $3.1 million to continue implementation of the Native Vegetation Policy;
  • $3.1 million to support protection of Cockburn Sound;
  • $2.7 million additional funding to understand the impact of climate change on WA's water resources; and
  • $1.2 million in boosted resourcing to support the Kimberley flood response and repairs to river monitoring stations caused by Tropical Cyclone Ellie.

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Comments attributed to Environment Minister Reece Whitby:

"The Cook Labor Government is taking strong and sensible action on climate change.

"Our record investment in climate action will support the most significant expansion of conservation estate in Western Australia's history, as well as our historic decision to end native logging."

Comments attributed to Water Minister Simone McGurk:

"We know we live in a drying climate, and that is why we're investing in innovative solutions to help future proof our water supply for the next generation.

"Building up water security infrastructure to address climate change is a State Government priority, and this budget reflects our commitment to ensure our drinking water supplies and water resources are protected into the future."