McGowan Government delivering strong future for the Mid-West
- State Budget delivers cost of living relief for regional Western Australians
- Major investments into regional health, housing, jobs and training
- Multi-billion dollar package to transform WA's energy system for a cleaner, stronger future
- New funding for justice, youth and police initiatives to build safer, stronger communities
- More than $4 billion delivered through Royalties for Regions program
The McGowan Government is delivering for the Mid-West, providing cost of living support for Mid-West residents while investing significantly in health, housing, and Western Australia's transition to cleaner, stronger, reliable, and affordable energy.
The 2023-24 Budget features a massive $11.2 billion investment in regional infrastructure as well as billions more in regional service delivery.
The State Budget includes $4 billion in Royalties for Regions expenditure over the next four years towards initiatives that strengthen regional communities and ensure services remain close to where people live.
Regional Western Australians will benefit from the McGowan Government's $715 million commitment to deliver further cost of living relief, including providing every WA household with a $400 electricity credit and additional targeted support totalling $826 for households who need it most.
As part of its commitment to keeping power and water affordable for all Western Australians, the McGowan Government will spend $2.7 billion over the next four years to subsidise the costs of providing water and electricity to regional residents.
To continue to ease cost of living pressures in the regions, the McGowan Government will deliver a $20.7 million boost to meet increased demand for the highly-successful Regional Airfare Zone Cap, providing affordable airfares for regional residents.
The McGowan Government is delivering a record $2.7 billion additional investment into WA's health system, with the 2023-24 State Budget featuring a significant investment into regional health and mental health, including:
- more than $2.2 billion per annum on regional health and mental health services;
- $28.5 million for initiatives to attract and retain key health and mental health professionals, primarily to work in regional WA, with priority given to hard-to-staff sites;
- $24.4 million to extend the Mental Health Emergency Telehealth Service, providing 24/7 mental health support and allowing country doctors to make referrals whenever needed;
- $8.2 million to upgrade WA Country Health Service staff housing, including safety and security upgrades in the Mid-West;
- $6.3 million to extend regional cancer services; and
- an additional $6.7 million towards Regional Renal Support Teams.
The 2023-24 State Budget strengthens the McGowan Government's record investment into housing, including:
- boosting the commitment to refurbish and deliver Government Regional Officer Housing by $61.6 million;
- $49 million to partner with community housing providers to provide 100 social homes across regional WA in a supported landlord model for rough sleepers;
- $450 million into the Social Housing Investment Fund to deliver more social housing across the State; and
- $12 million over four years to deliver more development ready land throughout regional WA, through the Regional Development Assistance Program.
The 2023-24 State Budget is a major investment into WA's future, tackling climate change through a $3 billion package, ensuring the State has cleaner, stronger, reliable, and affordable energy into the future as well as investing in the environment. Mid-West initiatives include:
- $2.7 billion investment to transition WA's energy system for a low-carbon future including funding for a potential expansion of Bright Energy Investments' Warradarge Wind Farm;
- upgrades to Western Power's north region network as part of a $126 million investment to kickstart the energy grid's transition to net zero and facilitate the green energy boom;
- $7 million to expand the Southern Rangelands Revitalisation project, supporting pastoralists in the Mid-West to manage climate change impacts;
- $22.2 million to assist industry transition to the mandatory sheep and goat Electronic Identification (eID) system to bolster WA's animal biosecurity defences;
- $20.2 million to extend vital drought resilience initiatives helping future-proof WA farms; and
- $10.4 million to boost WA's emergency animal disease preparedness following overseas outbreaks of Foot and Mouth Disease and Lumpy Skin Disease.
The McGowan Government's 2023-24 State Budget continues to deliver on the WA Jobs Plan, diversifying regional economies, creating new jobs for the future and developing a pipeline of skills in the regions. Key Mid-West initiatives include:
- $40 million Sustainable Geoscience Investments package to accelerate critical minerals discoveries, ensuring WA is well-placed to grasp economic opportunities as the world works towards a net zero future;
- $6.5 million to implement the Western Australian Aquaculture Development Plan;
- $2 million from the New Industries Fund to support regional entrepreneurs in the innovation sector;
- $9 million for an education support facility at Waggrakine Primary School;
- $2.5 million to increase the travel accommodation allowance for regional TAFE students;
- $2.9 million to provide a weekly allowance for regional students studying a Diploma of Nursing; and
- $6.8 million for upgrades at Agricultural Colleges around the State.
The McGowan Government continues its record investment into regional roads and transport projects, including:
- a further $407 million on regional road projects and initiatives being invested in this Budget, bringing the total investment over the next four years to $5.3 billion;
- a $175 million boost to the jointly Commonwealth-State funded Regional Road Safety Program, to continue to deliver life-saving works on regional roads;
- $10 million for works at Geraldton Fishing Boat Harbour; and
- $7.2 million for upgrades at Geraldton Port;
The 2023-24 State Budget will help to build safe, strong and fair regional communities, with initiatives in the Mid-West including:
- $11.7 million to extend Operation Regional Shield, continuing to deliver police into regional communities experiencing youth crime issues;
- $11.7 million to continue the Target 120 rollout across the regions, including in Geraldton;
- $1.1 million to continue the Respectful Relationships Teaching Support Program and the provision of culturally appropriate services for victims of family and domestic violence in regional areas;
- $5.8 million to extend the successful Driving Access and Equity program to deliver driver training to disadvantaged young people;
- $8.3 million towards the Geraldton Aboriginal Short-Stay Accommodation;
- $9.2 million to support ongoing recovery from Tropical Cyclone Seroja;
- $4.9 million to continue the Regional Athlete Support Program to help regionally-based talented athletes meet their full potential; and
- $700,000 to continue the Rural, Regional and Remote Network program to support regional women.
The McGowan Government will also invest $77 million to manage and protect Aboriginal cultural heritage in WA, including support for new Local Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Services.
This year's Budget builds on the diverse range of projects and programs already underway in the Mid-West, including:
- $350 million for a major upgrade to Geraldton Port, including a new berth and a multi-user storage facility, planning underway;
- $54.5 million allocated for a Mid West Hydrogen Hub with planning underway, including $14.5 million for an access road to help activate the Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area;
- $122.7 million towards the Geraldton Health Campus redevelopment, construction underway;
- $9 million for the Spalding Urban Renewable Project, construction underway on stage two;
- $1.5 million for a new STEM classroom at Geraldton Senior High School; and
- $400,000 for a new jetty and pens at the Batavia Coast Marina.
For more information, visit www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"This Budget continues our record of delivering for the Mid-West - helping to ease cost of living pressures and investing in the region's future.
"My Government is investing a record amount into regional infrastructure, and delivering a significant boost for health and housing in the regions.
"We are committed to keeping the community safe in the Mid-West, with our Budget including important investments into regional policing and programs targeting at-risk young people.
"Our regions have enormous potential to benefit from the transition to a prosperous low-carbon future, and our investments will deliver cleaner, stronger, reliable and affordable energy for the regions for generations to come.
"WA's responsible financial management provides the opportunity to make significant investments in what matters to Western Australians, while keeping the Budget in a strong position for future generations.
"Our WA Jobs Plan is working, creating long-term jobs across the State, while diversifying WA's economy, driving new job opportunities in high tech manufacturing, clean energy, agriculture, tourism and defence industries."
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Don Punch:
"The Mid-West region is one of WA's most diverse regional economies built around mining, agriculture, fishing and tourism.
"In recognition of this, the McGowan Government is investing in the Mid-West through the 2023-24 State Budget, and delivering a range of social and infrastructure projects to support the region's growth.
"We're also delivering a range of cost of living and healthcare initiatives through this Budget, to further support the Mid-West community.
"Our significant regional investment continues in the 2023-24 State Budget, with $11.2 billion committed to the regions to deliver important projects and improve lives across the State."
Comments attributed to Geraldton MLA Lara Dalton:
"The State Budget features major investments into the issues that matter to people in Geraldton - regional health and housing, plus initiatives to build safer, stronger communities.
"We're also providing major investment into energy projects in the Mid-West, setting the region up for cleaner, reliable and affordable energy into the future.
"We're making significant investments in education and training to ensure our community is well placed for future opportunities."
Premier's office - 6552 5200
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6900