Hon Christian Porter BA(Hons) BEc LLB(UWA) MSc(Dist)(LSE) MLA

Hon Christian Porter BA(Hons) BEc LLB(UWA) MSc(Dist)(LSE) MLA

Former Treasurer; Attorney General

Hon Brendon Grylls MLA

Hon Brendon Grylls MLA

Former Minister for Housing; Racing and Gaming

    State Budget 2012-13: Building the State; Supporting our Community - Royalties for Regions continues to support WA’s economic growth

    17/05/2012 12:00 AM
     
    • More than $1.1b Royalties for Regions expenditure budgeted for 2012-13
    • Focus on major infrastructure and development projects

    Health and aged care, education, housing and regional infrastructure and development projects were all earmarked for a share of the $1.1billion Royalties for Regions expenditure budget, announced in the State Budget today.

     

    Treasurer Christian Porter said the State’s economic growth was being significantly boosted by the continued Royalties for Regions investment in infrastructure and development projects, including Pilbara Cities, Mid West Revitalisation, Gascoyne Revitalisation and Kimberley Revitalisation.

     

    “These projects will receive $337million in 2012-13, revitalising and supporting the growth and development of regional areas and providing an economic benefit to the whole State," Mr Porter said.

     

    “Health is an important focus of this spending commitment, with the investment in health projects in 2012-13 receiving $181million and a total Royalties for Regions commitment of more than $941million between 2012-13 and 2015-16.

     

    “Seven regional aged care facility projects have also been awarded $15million over the forward estimates with $10million in 2012-13, allowing for works to commence on purpose-built facilities and upgrade works to existing aged care facilities."

     

    Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls said education-related projects had been allocated $103million in 2012-13, with $2million committed to provide vital support for the new Year 7 Relocation School Infrastructure project ahead of the 2015 implementation date.

     

    “After three continuous years of unprecedented State Government investment, Royalties for Regions projects are making regional Western Australia a better place to live, work and invest than ever before,” Mr Grylls said.

     

    Key initiatives of the Royalties for Regions program in 2012-13 include:

     

    Regional Health Infrastructure ($152million in 2012-13)

    Regional Health Infrastructure projects will receive $52million in 2012-13 and a total of $74million from 2012-13 to 2013-14. This includes the development of Kalgoorlie, Esperance and Albany hospitals and Busselton Health Campus.  In 2012-13 Busselton Health Campus will receive $26million, Albany Hospital will receive $20million and Esperance will receive $6million.

     

    The Southern Inland Health Initiative (SIHI), announced last year, will receive $49million in 2012-13 and a total Royalties for Regions commitment of $547million between 2012-13 and 2015-16. The SIHI will improve access to clinical services in the Great Southern, Mid-West, Goldfields, South-West and Wheatbelt regions.

     

    Pilbara Cities health initiatives will receive $7million in 2012-13 and total Royalties for Regions investment of $80million from 2012-13 to 2015-16.

     

    Carnarvon Hospital and Exmouth Clinic are both part of the Gascoyne Revitalisation initiative. In 2012-13, Carnarvon Hospital has been allocated $15million and Exmouth Clinic $3million.

     

    In 2012-13, $26million Royalties for Regions funding will continue to support the delivery of Regional Health programs such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service, St John Ambulance Services, Regional Men’s Health, Rural Generalist Pathways and the Patient Assisted Travel Scheme.

     

    Education - Schools ($79million in 2012-13)

    The Year 7 Relocation Project is a new Royalties for Regions Regional Schools initiative that help schools undertake works required to accommodate year 7 students from primary to secondary schools, in time for the 2015 school year.

     

    An amount of $43million between 2012-13 and 2014-15 has been provided for the project, including $2million in 2012-13.

     

    Additional Regional Schools Initiatives include:

    • Regional Schools Plan - education continues to rate as one of the key reasons for families to leave the regions. A Regional Schools Plan totalling $97million over the forward estimates, with $52million in 2012-13, has been provided to assist with the development of schools
    • Residential Colleges - $32million has been allocated to the project from 2012-13 to 2013-14, ($22million of which will be spent in 2012-13) to continue upgrade works at residential colleges across the State. The project aims to increase existing capacity to meet the growing demand for boarding places for regional students.

    Other education-related projects include Boarding Away From Home, which provides funding to assist with boarding expenses of families who live in remote locations with children who have to leave home to attend secondary school. An amount of $10million has been provided from 2012-13 to 2015-16 of which $2million is committed in 2012-13.

     

    Better Beginnings is an initiative that helps to improve literacy levels in young children through fostering a love of books and language, leading to increased opportunities for success at school and in future employment. This initiative has been allocated $2million for the period 2012-13 and 2013-14 with a provision of $700,000 in 2012-13.

     

    Regional Skills and Training ($32million in 2012-13)

    The Skills Training Initiative has been allocated $83million over the forward estimates with $17million in 2012-13. The funding will continue to develop skills and training facilities and initiatives in regional WA.

     

    In 2012-13 the Regional Work Camp Enhancement Program will receive $15million from the total commitment of $25million from Royalties for Regions to continue upgrades and training at these facilities.

     

    Regional Housing ($100million in 2012-13)

    WA is experiencing a significant shortage of affordable housing in many regional locations. There is a State-wide need to deliver additional affordable housing, so key workers are able to affordably rent or purchase homes, and continue to deliver effective services into growing communities.  Royalties for Regions has budgeted $255million between 2012-13 and 2015-16 for this purpose.

     

    In 2012-13, $100million has been committed to housing projects that will deliver additional housing options across the State.

     

    The Royalties for Regions Housing for Workers’ Government Regional Officers Housing (GROH) program has already delivered an additional 400 units of accommodation across regional areas and the Non-Government Organisation (NGO) Housing Strategic Intervention has delivered an additional 58 units of accommodation in the Pilbara and Kimberley.

     

    Building the State - Regional Infrastructure and Development Projects

     

    Pilbara Cities ($136million in 2012-13)

    The Pilbara Cities vision aims to transform Karratha and Port Hedland into regional cities along with the development of a network of sustainable, attractive and affordable towns within the region.  Royalties for Regions has committed $602million from 2012-13 to 2015-16, including $136million in 2012-13.

     

    Mid West Revitalisation ($31million in 2012-13)

    The Mid West Revitalisation has been allocated $215million Royalties for Regions funding over the forward estimates. An amount of $210million has been committed to the Mid West Investment Plan (MWIP) which was established in 2011-12 with the aim of implementing major infrastructure projects/initiatives in the Mid-West region enabling a more sustainable social and economic base to be achieved for the region.  In 2012-13, a provision of $28million has been made to MWIP.

     

    Kimberley Revitalisation ($131million in 2012-13)

    The Ord-East Kimberley Expansion Project has been boosted with a further $91million to allow commencement of Phase 2 development in 2012-13. The project is now a $518million investment ($311million Royalties for Regions since 2008 09, with $115million allocated for 2012-13 and $52million in 2013-14) to stimulate the East Kimberley economy through a national partnership between the Federal and State governments.

     

    The project comprises $220million in Royalties for Regions funding for Phase 1, since 2008-09; $91million in Royalties for Regions funding for Phase 2, $12million from the Consolidated Account and $195million in Federal Government funding for the East Kimberley Development Package.

     

    In addition to the Ord-East Kimberley Expansion Project, $16million in 2012-13 will fund the Kununurra and Fitzroy Crossing Courthouse projects and Stage 1 of the Broome small boat facility project.

     

    Gascoyne Revitalisation ($39million in 2012-13)

    Royalties for Regions has committed $98million from 2012-13 to 2015-16 to initiatives under the Gascoyne Revitalisation of which $39million is allocated in 2012-13.

     

    The Gascoyne Revitalisation includes the funding of the Exmouth CBD and foreshore revitalisation, Gascoyne Junction town centre and tourism facilities, Carnarvon Fascine redevelopment planning, Carnarvon library and art centre, Carnarvon Police and Justice Complex, Exmouth clinic, Tantabiddi boat ramp upgrade, Carnarvon hospital, Carnarvon boat ramp construction, Coral Bay seasonal staff accommodation, and Gascoyne irrigation pipeline.

     

    Regional Centres Development Plan (SuperTowns)

    The SuperTowns initiative over the past 12 months has encouraged nine towns in WA’s southern half to develop growth plans and plan strategic initiatives in preparation for the State’s predicted population growth.  In 2011-12, $78million Royalties for Regions funding was allocated for strategic projects resulting from each town’s planning. These projects will be announced shortly.

     

    In 2012-13 SuperTowns will be able to seek funding through a contestable arrangement, based on individual growth and business plans. Royalties for Regions funding will be available through the Country Local Government Fund and the Regional Development Council.

     

    Bunbury Albany Gas Pipeline Corridor Project

    The Department of Regional Development and Lands is progressing a study to determine best-fit corridor alignment options. The study is expected to be completed in June 2012. The total Royalties for Regions contribution to this project is $20million, with a provision of $500,000 in 2012-13, to fund a route alignment study, and the approvals and land assembly process.

     

    Water and Natural Resource Management (NRM) Initiatives

    A total of $53million is allocated from 2012-13 to 2015-16 of which $17million has been committed in 2012-13.  It will contribute to achieving outcomes in water for industry and economic development, and regional economic development opportunities through four themes of funding being:

    • Regional Water availability planning and investigation
    • Regional Economic Development - Water Opportunities
    • Gascoyne Food Bowl (including funding towards a flood mitigation response)
    • Regional Natural Resource Management.

    Collie Water Plan

    This project’s purpose is to develop an integrated water management strategy for the Collie region to allow for the growth and development of the South-West regions and to enable these regions to continue to support new and existing industries. An amount of $5million has been allocated in 2012-13.

     

    Transport - PortLink Inland Freight Corridor

    An amount of $2million has been allocated in 2012-13 to continue the planning phase of the PortLink Inland Freight Corridor Development Plan. The total contribution of $5million from Royalties for Regions funding is complemented by an additional $2million commitment in Federal Government funding for the planning phase, which commenced in 2011-12 and involves creating an intermodal terminal and rail realignment in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, as well as a sealed road link between Wiluna and Meekatharra.

     

    Regional Strategic Projects

    Under the Regional Development Council Action Agenda Scheme 2011 Funding Round, $50million was allocated from 2012-13 to 2014-15, to projects in line with the key Royalties for Regions objectives and themes determined by the Minister for Regional Development on the advice of the Western Australian Regional Development Trust and the council across the six key areas as follows: Aged Care and Community Health; Education; Housing and Services; Social and Environmental Amenity; Sport and Recreation; and Employment, Infrastructure and Skills.  An amount of $29million has been put aside to support approved projects in 2012-13.

     

    Regional Mobile Communications Project

    An amount of $32million is to be provided from 2012-13 to 2013-14 for this project with $18million to be expended in 2012-13. This project will expand terrestrial mobile voice and high-speed wireless data broadband coverage to improve continuous highway and town to-town coverage in many of the State’s regional, rural and remote communities.

     

    Community Safety Network

    From 2012-13 to 2015-16, $53million has been committed (with $23million to be expended in 2012-13) to continue to roll out a trunked and conventional digital regional radio communications network, with inter-operability for the WA Police, Department of Corrective Services and the Fire and Emergency Services Authority of Western Australia.

     

    Aboriginal Initiatives ($49million in 2012-13)

     

    The Western Australian Regional Development Trust recommended the continued provision for programs that support the participation of Aboriginal people in the workforce be made in the Royalties for Regions Budget. The following initiatives have received funding in 2012-13.

     

    Regional Youth Justice Strategy Kimberley and Pilbara Expansion

    Expansion of Kimberley and Pilbara Youth Justice Services has been provided with $61million from 2012-13 to 2015-16 and $9million allocated for 2012-13. This project aims to help tackle youth offending in the early stages and provide an extended hours family support service for at-risk youth and their families.

     

    Improving Water Quality in Remote Aboriginal Communities

    An amount of $7million Royalties for Regions funding over the forward estimates, including $5million for 2012-13, has been allocated to upgrade and extend existing water infrastructure to deliver quality water to 16 remote Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley, Pilbara and Goldfields-Esperance regions.

     

    Indigenous Visitor Hostels

    This project provides indigenous people visiting the Kalgoorlie-Boulder and Derby regions access to safe and secure living arrangements and access to social services to assist them to conduct their business. The total cost of this project is $13million and $10million has been allocated in 2012-13.

     

    Remote Indigenous Health Clinics

    Royalties for Regions funding of $20million from 2012-13 to 2015-16, with a $6million commitment in 2012-13, has been allocated towards redeveloping up to eight remote Aboriginal health clinics across the Kimberley and Pilbara.

     

    Regional Community Programs and Schemes ($136million in 2012-13)

     

    Country Age Pension Fuel Card Scheme

    The successful Country Age Pension Fuel Card Scheme will continue with $25million committed to it in 2012-13. The scheme provides transport support of $500 per year towards the cost of fuel and/or taxi travel to eligible pensioners living in regional WA who do not have access to extensive public transport and are reliant on private vehicles to access social services.  The scheme has benefited more than 45,000 pensioners since its launch in 2009. Between 2012-13 and 2015-16 the scheme has been allocated $97million.

     

    Regional Workers Incentives

    The existing Royalties for Regions initiative will receive $49million in 2012-13 to continue to provide increased district allowances for public sector workers in regional WA as part of the process to attract and retain workers who provide essential Government services.  Between 2012-13 and 2015-16, $208million has been budgeted for this initiative.

     

    Community Resource Centres

    An amount of $12million has been allocated in 2012-13 to the Community Resource Centres to provide enhanced access to Government and non-government services and information, training opportunities, and community capacity building programs to more than 100 small regional and remote communities.

     

    Exploration Incentive Scheme

    Royalties for Regions funding of $13million in 2012-13 continues to fund the highly successful Exploration Incentive Scheme.

     

    Regional Events Program

    A Royalties for Regions allocation of $40million from 2012-13 to 2015-16 and $10million in 2012-13 will continue to facilitate and raise the profile of regional events throughout the State. The funding assists regional communities to hold small events as well as develop, attract and market larger events that generate State-wide, national and international attention to regional WA.

     

    Living Lakes

    Royalties for Regions funding of $1million is allocated in 2012-13 to continue the development of an innovative option for enhancing inland lakes and water bodies to create economic opportunities for recreation, tourism and regional development. The Living Lakes initiative will transform selected inland lake and degraded creek and river systems into permanent waterways for recreation, tourism and commercial purposes.

     

    Environment

     

    Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy

    Royalties for Regions funding totalling $6million was provided for the period 2012-13 to 2015-16, $2million of which is allocated in 2012-13 for the implementation of tourism initiatives identified in the Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy. Specifically to assist with:

    • identification and development of nature-based and cultural tourism
    • development and promotion of tourism corridors
    • expansion and promotion of the Kimberley aerial highway and self-drive expedition routes.

    Marine Parks Management

    A provision of $15million Royalties for Regions funding has been made over the forward estimates of which $4million was committed in 2012-13, to enable the establishment of two new marine parks in the South-West (Capes Marine Park) and Pilbara (Dampier Archipelago). The funding has allowed for:

    • the establishment of the two new parks and a new management area and their associated management plans
    • protection and conservation of high natural and cultural values, while providing opportunities for recreational and commercial uses
    • establishment of visitor facilities and management arrangements to contribute to nature-based recreation and tourism in the reserves; provide education and information to visitors and provide opportunities for Aboriginal engagement.

          Fact File

    • Royalties for Regions is a State Government policy created in 2008
    • $6.5billion allocated to projects between 2008-09 and 2015-16
    • WA Budget statements are available at http://ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au

    Treasurer’s office - 6552 5600

    Regional Development Minister’s office - 6552 5500