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 Western Australia the Government will spend a $3,296 per person - that is $1,837 or 126 per cent per person more.”
The Treasurer said the Government would commit a record $26.1billion on capital works across the State over the next four years, with $7.6billion 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:
· $4.5 billion 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; and
· $1.2 billion on tax relief - with a 15 per cent cut to stamp duty on the median‑priced home, saving the homebuyer about $3,000.
Mr Ripper said capital works in the Pilbara region had been allocated more than $342million in the Budget.
He said housing availability was a crucial issue in the Pilbara and the Government’s investment in public and Government regional officers’ housing would be $56million. Key projects included:
· $1.6million to complete five units for families and single persons over two sites in Karratha;
· $1.9million to commence the development of a sub-division in South Hedland comprising seven units for families and single people;
· $21million to buy 30 dwellings for Government worker rentals in a new multi-unit complex in Port Hedland; and
· ongoing work on the New Living Urban Renewal project in South Hedland due to be completed in 2011-12. Major works included the refurbishment of 480 Housing Authority properties, as well as the development and release of vacant land lots.
The Treasurer said $300,000 had also been provided for a study into the housing needs of people in the Pilbara. The study would focus on the requirements for social housing, essential and small business workers and non-Government organisations in each major community in the Pilbara.
The region’s road and sea transport infrastructure was a key priority, with more than $187million budgeted, including:
· $155million to continue work on a multi-user Panamax berth in the Port Hedland Port at Utah Point;
· $11.6million for new work on the Great Northern Highway between Pinga Street and Wallwork Road, Port Hedland;
· $9.3million to complete works on stage two of the Karratha to Tom Price Road;
· $6.7million for minor works at Port Hedland Port; and
· $3.5million for minor works at Dampier Port.
Mr Ripper said health services and facilities in the region would also receive a $58.2million injection, comprising:
· $54.4million toward stage two of the new Hedland Regional Resource Centre Hospital in South Hedland, which replaces the existing hospital in Port Hedland; and
· $2.4million for a roof replacement at Nickol Bay Hospital, Karratha.
The Pilbara region’s energy infrastructure was also a priority in the 2008-09 Budget with:
· $25million for refurbishment works at the Nullagine and Marble Bar Power Stations;
· $14.7million toward generation interconnections at Rio Tinto Iron Ore operations;
· $5.1million for a range of works on the North West Interconnection Scheme to improve the safety, reliability and allow for future network growth in the Pilbara;
· $1.8million for reliability and safety enhancements at Port Hedland;
· $733,000 toward system capacity in the Karratha CBD and Millstream East;
· $244,000 for street light upgrades in South Hedland; and
· $195,000 for distribution works at Port Hedland.
Law, order and community safety also continue to be a priority in the Pilbara, with nearly $20.7million for:
· $10.2million for works to the Pilbara District Police Complex;
· $9.4million to continue alterations and additions to the South Hedland Police Station; and
· $1.1million for a replacement Community and Juvenile Justice Centre in the Pilbara.
The Pilbara region’s education and training facilities received $16.2million for:
· $13million for continued works on the redevelopment of the Karratha Senior High School;
· $2.2million to extend the Metals and Automotive Workshop at the Pilbara TAFE Karratha Campus; and
· $1million toward the replacement of the Karratha Primary School (total project cost $26 million).
Water infrastructure in the Pilbara was allocated nearly $15million including;
· $5.6million for works on Stage One of the Burrup Peninsula Industrial Water Supply;
· $4.4million for works in Port Hedland, east of Acton Street;
· $1.6million for West Pilbara Water Supply to protect and re-roof the 11-mile booster pumping station;
· $1million for the Kangaroo Hill pumping station and pipeline for the West Pilbara Water Supply;
· $770,000 to replace the Millstream chlorinator for the West Pilbara Water Supply;
· $450,000 for upgrades to the Roebourne Waste Water Treatment Plant;
· $300,000 for upgrades to Karratha tank numbers one and two;
· $250,000 for improvements to the Port Hedland Waste Water Treatment Plant;
· $192,000 for major inspections to the transfer mains at the West Pilbara Water Supply; and
· $100,000 towards protective coating, cathodic protection and re-roofing the summit tank number two.
Treasurer's office: 9222 8788