Hon Troy Buswell BEc MLA

Hon Troy Buswell BEc MLA

Former Treasurer; Minister for Transport

Hon Brendon Grylls MLA

Hon Brendon Grylls MLA

Former Minister for Housing; Racing and Gaming

    State Budget 2013-14: Royalties for Regions continues to drive regional growth

    8/08/2013 12:00 AM
     
    • State Government’s Royalties for Regions to provide more than $1.3billion in regional investment for 2013-14
    • Focus on delivery of major infrastructure projects while ensuring economic development of regional communities

    Agriculture, regional health, education, tourism, community services, business development, transport and infrastructure projects will share in $1.3billion of Royalties for Regions investment as part of the 2013-14 State Budget today.

     

    Treasurer Troy Buswell said the Liberal National Government’s Royalties for Regions program continued to support major regional infrastructure and development projects in regional Western Australia such as Pilbara Cities, as well as the East Kimberley, Mid West and Gascoyne Revitalisation Programs and new revitalisation programs in the Goldfields-Esperance and Kimberley regions.

     

    “Regional health and education will also receive a major boost from the State Government to ensure everyone in WA can access quality essential services,” Mr Buswell said.   

     

    Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls said the Royalties for Regions initiatives in the 2013-14 State Budget aimed to capitalise on the opportunities that existed in regional WA.

     

    “We want to drive the economic investment that supports local jobs and creates long-term growth in regional communities,” Mr Grylls said.

     

    “Agriculture is a key part of this vision, that’s why the Liberal National Government has committed $297.5million to help develop the opportunities that exist in the sector and capitalise on Asia’s growing demand for food.

     

    “After four years of unprecedented investment, Royalties for Regions is making regional WA a better place to live, work and invest.”

     

    Key initiatives of the Royalties for Regions program for 2013-14 include:

     

    Seizing the Opportunity Agriculture ($16.4million in 2013-14)

    This $297.5million package (2013-14 to 2016-17) will help capture opportunities that exist for WA agriculture, transforming the sector, creating growth and prosperity in regional communities.  Key areas of investment include research and development; land and water; infrastructure provision; industry development; investment attraction and trade; and skills development.

     

    The program also includes new and continuing projects such as WA’s Biosecurity Defence, Agricultural Research and Development Fund, Food Centres, Buy West Eat Best and the Gascoyne Food Bowl.

     

    Regional Health Investment ($144million in 2013-14)

    Royalties for Regions is providing better health care with a major investment in regional health. This includes commencement of the North West Health Initiative, which will provide $161million between 2013-14 and 2016-17 to improve health and aged care facilities in key towns across the North-West. 

     

    Newman, Tom Price, Onslow and Roebourne hospitals and the Paraburdoo Nursing Post will be upgraded and refurbished with funding to improve services and facilities.  Funds will also be invested into telehealth, staff recruitment, dialysis facilities and transport for patients.

     

    Other new Royalties for Regions-funded health initiatives include a $6.99million Regional Dialysis Service Expansion (2012-13 to 2015-16); an $8million (2013-14 to 2016-17) expansion of Regional Telehealth services; and $400,000 (2013-14 to 2016-17) for the Fitzroy Kids Health program in the Kimberley to invest in foetal alcohol spectrum disorder research. 

     

    Existing health initiatives will continue with $9.7million for continuation of the Patient Assisted Travel Scheme in 2013-14; $2million for the Rural Generalist (Practice) Pathways; and $72.3million for the continued roll-out of the Southern Inland Health Initiative.

     

    Regional health infrastructure projects, including Busselton Health Campus, Carnarvon Hospital, Karratha Health Campus, Esperance Hospital and Exmouth Clinic will receive $34million in 2013-14 with a further commitment of $449million over the four years to 2016-17.   

     

    Education and Training ($161million in 2013-14)

    Royalties for Regions is providing ongoing investment in regional education through the Regional Schools Plan ($75.4million this year), which includes the relocation of year 7 students and residential college upgrades, and the Regional Skills and Training initiative ($85.5million this year).

     

    West Kimberley Revitalisation ($50.3million in 2013-14)

    $132million has been committed from 2013-14 to 2015-16 for the West Kimberley revitalisation to unlock the potential of the region. This includes $33million towards an Aboriginal Housing program and $47million for the Broome Boating facility.  New initiatives include $14.9million for the development of the Broome Road Industrial Area and $10million for the Broome Chinatown redevelopment.

     

    Goldfields Esperance Revitalisation ($5million in 2013-14)

    The Goldfields Esperance revitalisation will receive $186million over the next four years.  This includes $6.2million to upgrade the Goldfields Arts Centre and additional operational funding and $1million in 2013-14 to support stage one of the $45million redevelopment of Kalgoorlie-Boulder Community High School.

     

    Pilbara Cities ($315million in 2013-14)

    The Royalties for Regions Pilbara Cities initiative will continue with $315million in 2013-14 for major strategic infrastructure projects across the Pilbara, including the transformation of Karratha and Port Hedland and the revitalisation of Newman and Tom Price.

     

    In 2013-14, Pilbara Cities Strategic Infrastructure has an allocation of $269million, including the continuation of the Karratha City Centre project Stage 1 works and $81million for Stage 2 for the creation of key sites for development and public infrastructure.

     

    Community Support Services

    Royalties for Regions continues to support essential community services in regional areas. This includes the continuation of programs such as the Country Age Pension Fuel Card and new initiatives such as the Volunteer Fuel Card, which provides $2,000 a year for regional volunteer emergency service groups in recognition of their work supporting regional communities.  An amount of $5.6million is allocated to the program from 2013-14 to 2016-17.

     

    Police and emergency services will receive a boost, with Regional Police Incentives to provide greater support for police in difficult-to-recruit regional locations allocated $2.5million in 2013-14 and $10.5million over four years.  The Community Safety Network, used by Police and emergency services, will receive $25.9million from Royalties for Regions in 2013-14.

     

    The Regional Workers Incentives program continues with $54.5million in 2013-14.

     

    Aboriginal initiatives, including investment in remote health clinics, improving water quality in remote indigenous communities, governance and leadership development, a regional youth justice strategy and indigenous visitors hostels will receive $92.4million in 2013-14.

     

    Royalties for Regions will provide $15.3million for a new emergency rescue helicopter to service communities in the South-West and Great Southern and a further $12.3million over four years for the Department of Fire and Emergency Services to improve fire crew protection systems for vehicles across the State.

     

    A further $17.4million has been allocated to the Regional Mobile Communications Project in 2013-14 to continue improving regional telecommunications infrastructure and coverage.

     

    Sport and Recreation

    Sport is a vital part of regional communities and this is recognised with funding for local sporting clubs and athletes. The Supporting Community Sport Program has been allocated

    $2million over four years to provide financial support for promising country athletes, aged 13-21, who are required to travel for regional, State or national representation.  It also provides direct assistance with the cost of shared equipment for clubs in regional WA.

     

    The Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund has been allocated $11.25million in 2013-14 and $30.9million over four years to enhance regional sporting facilities.

     

    Business Development

    A new program to support small business will start in 2013-14, with a commitment of $10million from 2013-14 to 2006-17.  This program aims to boost ‘Buy Local’ provisions and ensure small businesses in regional WA continue to develop.

     

    The Exploration Incentive Scheme, to boost resources exploration and discoveries, continues with $24million allocated in 2013-14 and a further $10million per year across the forward estimates.

     

    Royalties for Regions funding of $8.5million will be used from 2014-15 to 2016-17 to fund the regionally-based Small Business Centres (SBC). The SBC program will support the 20 regionally based centres.  These are non-government, not-for-profit organisations which are community owned and controlled to deliver tailored services to local business.

     

    Transport

    Royalties for Regions is investing in key transport infrastructure.  This includes a contribution to the construction of a new bridge on the Brand Highway over the Greenough River and the construction of a heavy vehicle bypass around Ravensthorpe to improve safety and efficiency for heavy transport operators.  Royalties for Regions will fund $14.5million towards the $30million South Coast Highway project, building a heavy vehicle bypass around Ravensthorpe.  An amount of $28million will be provided to construct additional overtaking lanes and improvements on the Coalfields Highway from 2013-14 to 2016-17.

     

    The Great Eastern Highway Passing Lanes program will receive $38million over four years towards the construction of new overtaking lanes between Southern Cross and Kalgoorlie-Boulder. This project, scheduled to begin in 2013-14, will provide a higher quality and safer road transport network.  An amount of $7.2million is allocated to improve the Gibb River Road (2014-15 to 2016-17).

     

    Tourism

    Tourism is a key part of the State’s economy.  Royalties for Regions is supporting tourism in regional areas through a range of initiatives. The Caravan and Camping Project and ‘Parks for People’ program aim to expand the number of low-cost recreational camping and caravanning facilities across the State, including enhancing facilities in WA’s national parks.  An amount of $5million is allocated to these programs in 2013-14, with a total combined commitment of $40.7million.

     

    More than $3million has been committed to the New Kimberley National Park to create one of Australia’s largest national parks. The North Kimberley Marine Park will see further investment of $15million to expand the marine park network to the WA-Northern Territory border.

     

    The Regional Events Program continues with $11million allocated in 2013-14 and regional buses will receive a boost with $14.2million allocated to purchase buses for regional routes.

     

           Fact File

    • Royalties for Regions returns the equivalent of 25% of mining and onshore petroleum royalties to regional WA through investment in infrastructure and services. Royalties for Regions is building strong and vibrant regional communities
    • Liberal National Government’s Royalties for Regions program is transforming regional WA with more than 2,500 projects and programs initiated under the program
    • From 2008-09 to 2016-17, Royalties for Regions program represents $10.9billion available for investment in regional WA
    • Since the start of Royalties for Regions in 2008-09, the program has allocated more than $1billion in Health initiatives since 2008, including $565million towards delivery of the Southern Inland Health Initiative to put GPs back into country towns and to fund infrastructure upgrades. This continues with a further $161million towards development of the North West Health Initiative starting 2013-14
    • WA Budget statements are available at http://ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au  

    Treasurer’s office - 6552 6400

    Regional Development Minister’s office - 6552 5500