McGowan Government delivering strong future for the South-West

The McGowan Government is delivering for the South-West, providing cost of living support for South-West 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
  • Multi-billion dollar package to transform WA's energy system for a cleaner, stronger future
  • More than $4 billion delivered through Royalties for Regions program

The McGowan Government is delivering for the South-West, providing cost of living support for South-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.

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;
  • $7.1 million to establish a pilot Bunbury Infant, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service Hub;
  • $18.3 million to develop the new South West Aboriginal Medical Service Health Hub in Bunbury;
  • $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 South-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. South-West initiatives include:

  • $2.8 billion investment to transition WA's energy system for a low-carbon future, including funding to deliver a battery energy storage system in Collie, with the potential to deliver one the world's biggest battery systems;
  • $18.8 million to continue the Healthy Estuaries WA program to improve water quality of estuaries across the region;
  • $36 million to create dozens of new jobs to help deliver on the historic decision to end native logging in the South-West;
  • $1.5 million to map climate risk and resilience for rivers in the South-West;
  • $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 Western Australian 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 South-West initiatives include:

  • $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;
  • $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;
  • $17.4 million for major technology upgrades at the Southern Ports Authority.
  • $6.8 million to upgrade electrical infrastructure at the ports of Bunbury and Albany;
  • Free public transport on the first Sunday of every month on TransRegional Sunday bus services, including in Bunbury; and
  • $5.7 million for upgrades at Berth 8 at Bunbury Port.

The 2023-24 State Budget will help to build safe, strong and fair regional communities, with initiatives in the South-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 Bunbury;
  • $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;
  • $810,000 to extend the South West End-to-End Young Driver Training Program to help disadvantaged young people get their driver's licence;
  • $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 South-West, including:

  • $662 million Collie Transition Package to attract new industries and create new local jobs in preparation for the retirement of State-owned coal fired power stations;
  • $78.1 million for the Transforming Bunbury's Waterfront project, with Stage 2 complete and Stage 3 currently underway;
  • $277.9 million for the Bunbury Regional Hospital redevelopment, currently underway;
  • $1 million for a STEM laboratory upgrade at Dalyellup College;
  • $1 million for upgrades at Donnybrook District High School;
  • $8.2 million for a new design and technology block at Eaton Community College;
  • $1.35 billion Bunbury Outer Ring Road, currently under construction;
  • $115 million Bussell Highway duplication, currently under construction;
  • $8 million towards Bunbury's South West Sports Centre for additional indoor multi-use courts;
  • $8 million towards the redevelopment of Hands Oval in Bunbury; and
  • $6 million towards the Donnybrook and Districts Sporting and Recreation Precinct.

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Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:

"This Budget continues our record of delivering for the South-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.

"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 and Bunbury MLA Don Punch:

"The South-West is home to a strong and vibrant community, who are immensely proud of their region.

"Through the 2023-24 State Budget, the McGowan Government is delivering a range of important initiatives for the South-West, improving access to healthcare and easing cost of living pressures for the community.

"We're also investing heavily into the South-West's industrial centres, preparing for the transition to renewable energy and delivering important infrastructure to further diversify local economies.

"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 Collie-Preston MLA Jodie Hanns:

"The State Budget highlights the McGowan Government's commitment to the future of Collie-Preston.

"We're delivering a major investment to transform WA's energy system for a low-carbon future, which will keep Collie at the heart of powering our State - with our town to be home to one of the world's biggest batteries.

"The Budget builds on our Government's support of Collie-Preston, delivers record investment in regional health, housing and training, and provides cost of living relief for families in the region."

Comments attributed to Warren-Blackwood MLA Jane Kelsbie:

"This Budget provides welcome cost of living relief for families and households in Warren-Blackwood and features major investments for regional WA.

"We're also investing in emerging industries and training to support the diversification of our regions and skill up our local communities for the jobs of the future."

Comments attributed to Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke:

"The Budget features major investments for regional WA in health, housing, training and transport projects.

"This significant support will strengthen our communities in the South-West and provide local people with new job opportunities, safer roads and improved access to services."

Premier's office - 6552 5200

Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6900