McGowan Government delivering strong future for the Pilbara

The McGowan Government is delivering for the Pilbara, providing cost of living support for Pilbara residents while investing significantly in health, housing, and Western Australia's transition to cleaner, stronger, reliable, and affordable energy.
  • State Budget delivers cost of living relief for regional Western Australians
  • Major investments into regional health, housing, jobs and training
  • 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 Pilbara, providing cost of living support for Pilbara 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;
  • $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 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 Pilbara initiatives include:

  • an additional $35 million for the Industrial Land Development Fund, to support activation of Strategic Industrial Areas in the Pilbara;
  • $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;
  • an additional $20.4 million towards upgrades at Roebourne District High 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
  • $3.1 million to expand the Heavy Vehicle Driver Training Program to the Pilbara and Kimberley.

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; and
  • free public transport on the first Sunday of every month on TransRegional Sunday bus services, including in Karratha.

The 2023-24 State Budget will help to build safe, strong and fair regional communities, with initiatives in the Pilbara 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 the Pilbara;
  • $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;
  • $10.4 million to enhance the Banned Drinkers Register, including across Pilbara towns;
  • $5.8 million to extend the successful Driving Access and Equity program to deliver driver training to disadvantaged young people;
  • $4.9 million to continue the Regional Athlete Support Program to help regionally-based talented athletes meet their full potential;
  • an additional $42.6 million for upgrades to water and wastewater systems in remote communities; and
  • $700,000 to continue the Rural, Regional and Remote Network program to support regional women.

The 2023-24 State Budget is a major investment into WA's future, tackling climate change through a $3 billion package as well as investing in protecting the environment. Pilbara initiatives include:

  • $2.2 million to deliver an Electric Vehicle Smart Charger and Vehicle-to-Grid trial through Horizon Power; 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 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 Pilbara, including:

  • $300 million in asset investment to facilitate the job-creating Perdaman urea project, including upgrading the Dampier Cargo Wharf, Burrup Seawater Supply Scheme and roads in the Burrup Strategic Industrial Area;
  • $187.5 million for the Port Hedland Spoilbank Marina, currently under construction;
  • $129.1 million towards the expansion of Lumsden Point at Port Hedland;
  • $8 million for new facilities and upgrades at North Regional TAFE's Minurmarghali Mia campus in Roebourne;
  • $48.9 million for a major upgrade including new trades training facilities at North Regional TAFE's Pundulmurra campus in South Hedland, under construction;
  • $3.5 million expansion of Baler Primary School;
  • $4.5 million for a new classroom block at Cassia Primary School;
  • $107.5 million to upgrade three key rail crossings in Hedland, currently under construction;
  • $380 million for the Manuwarra Red Dog Highway between Karratha and Tom Price, with Stage 3 complete and planning for Stage 4 underway; and
  • $10 million towards the Port Hedland Sporting and Community Hub redevelopment, currently underway.

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Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:

"This Budget continues our record of delivering for the Pilbara - 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 Pilbara, with our Budget including important investments into regional policing and programs targeting at-risk young people.

"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:

"Western Australia's regions are dominant drivers of State and national economic growth, with the Pilbara contributing significantly to national GDP through resource exports.

"In the 2023-24 State Budget, the McGowan Government is investing heavily in the future of the Pilbara, through infrastructure upgrades to support industry, and a range of initiatives to make the community safer.

"We're also investing significantly to reduce cost of living pressures for Pilbara families, and improving access to essential healthcare.

"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 Pilbara MLA Kevin Michel:

"The 2023-24 State Budget reinforces the McGowan Government's commitment to the Pilbara.

"The Budget provides significant investment in areas I know are important to the people of the Pilbara - health, housing and community safety - and includes measures to ease cost of living pressures.

"The Pilbara drives the WA economy, and it is fantastic to see continued support for local projects and a big boost for our training sector."

Premier's office - 6552 5000

Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6900