Regional Western Australia is driving both the State and ultimately national economies and the Carpenter Government is well aware of this phenomenal contribution, Treasurer Eric Ripper said today.
Mr Ripper said the Government would spend more than twice as much per capita on regional infrastructure as it did in the metropolitan area in the 2008-09 Budget.
“In 2008-09, capital works spending per capita in the metropolitan region will be $1,459 per person,” he said.
“But across regional WA the Government will spend $3,296 per person - that is $1,837 or 126 per cent per person more.”
The Treasurer said the Government would commit a record $26.1 billion on capital works around the State over the next four years with $7.6 billion to be spent this financial year.
“This is our eighth consecutive balanced Budget and the Government will return every single cent of the surplus to build infrastructure and therefore reduce the amount we need to borrow for this program,” he said.
State-wide, the Government was committing heavily to health care, education, law and order, child protection and disability services.
Overall the Government would spend:
· $4.5billion for health care, an increase of 5.8 per cent with 22.7 per cent more for mental health;
· $3.6billion for education and training - up 3.9 per cent;
· $2billion for law and order and community safety - up $135million;
· $388million for disability services - almost double the amount spent in 2000‑01;
· $349million for child protection - up 16.5 per cent;
· $1.2billion on tax relief - with a 15 per cent cut to stamp duty on the median‑priced home, saving the homebuyer about $3,000.
In the Gascoyne, nearly $22million had been allocated for capital works in the Budget including:
· $8.5million for the new Carnarvon Police and Justice Complex;
· $5.413million to complete the Buringurrah Remote Multi-Function Policing Facility; and
· $290,000 toward the replacement of the Carnarvon Police Station, as part of the Carnarvon Police and Justice Complex.
The Gascoyne region’s energy infrastructure would see the ageing Carnarvon Power Station replaced at a total cost of $68.7million commencing in 2009-10. In addition, there would be a further $3.4million in 2008-09 on projects that include:
· $1.0million toward the Coral Bay Wind Diesel Project;
· $702,000 toward the Denham Wind Diesel Project;
· $380,000 for distribution works in the Gascoyne region;
· $263,000 to improve reliability to Murat, Learmonth and Grace’s Tavern;
· $140,000 for a range of safety and reliability projects in Carnarvon; and
· $98,000 for distribution works in Carnarvon.
The region’s water supplies also received funding of $2.7million, with:
· $1.8million to continue roof replacement of the Carnarvon Brown Range tanks;
· $400,000 toward works at the Exmouth Town Water Supply borefield;
· $251,000 for a turbidity filter at Gascoyne Junction;
· $100,000 for land acquisition for the new Waste Water Treatment Plant at Exmouth;
· $89,000 for upgrades to the Carnarvon Waste Water Treatment Plant;
· $37,000 for work on the Coral Bay water supply; and
· $36,000 to complete the Denham 1 megalitre freshwater tank.
Mr Ripper said $1.32million had been allocated for restoration works to the Carnarvon Jetty.
Treasurer's office: 9222 8788