Building Western Australia was the Carpenter Government’s key priority in the 2008-09 State Budget, Treasurer Eric Ripper said today.
“This is our eighth consecutive balanced Budget and provides a record $7.6billion for capital works in 2008-09 and $26.1billion over the next four years,” Mr Ripper said.
“We are continuing to reinvest in our State’s future to help sustain our economic growth with a massive capital works program that covers both Perth and the regions.
“And we are ensuring Western Australians will get the key services they rightly expect and deserve.
“This Budget also shares the State’s prosperity through big increases in spending on health care, including mental health, law and order, child protection, community safety, education and training, and public housing.”
The Treasurer said the 2008-09 Budget also made housing more affordable with a $1.2billion tax relief package that would slash stamp duty on the median-priced house by about 15 per cent, saving a homebuyer about $3,000.
The package also included reductions in land tax and payroll tax reforms to ease the compliance burden on business.
He said capital works included $1.07billion for the new major stadium at Kitchener Park in Subiaco, $506million for the new museum on the former East Perth power station site and $319million for the redevelopment of Perth’s Swan River foreshore.
Also included was $810million for roads, including $246.3million for the new Perth-to-Bunbury Highway, $1.1billion for water infrastructure, $1.2billion for improving electricity infrastructure and $212million for the purchase and construction of public rental housing.
Highlights of the local capital works program included:
· $1million to complete the Waroona Town Centre Redevelopment, which will provide public amenities, parking, resurfacing, landscaping and development of an educational eco-trail;
· $750,000 to complete the new South Halls Head Primary School (total project cost: $9.5million);
· $400,000 to complete the Mandurah Marine Operations Centre (total project cost: $9.41million);
· $250,000 for new equipment at the Mandurah Marine Operations Centre;
· $3.018million to continue work on the Mandurah Community Health Centre (total project cost: $3.418million);
· $3.8million for works at the Murray District Health Centre (total project cost: $5.47million);
· $340,000 to complete the expansion of the Emergency Department at the Peel Health Campus (total project cost: $3million);
· $401,000 toward the Pinjarra-Brunswick Sustainability Strategy (total project cost: $1.2million); and
· $60,000 for minor works and plant and equipment at the Mandurah Greyhound Track.
On top of the record capital works program, Mr Ripper said the Government would spend $4.5billion for health care,$3.6billion for education and training, $2billion for law and order and community safety, $341million for child protection and $61million to bring another 4,400 apprentices and trainees into the State’s workforce.
“We are spending more per capita on public order and safety than any other Australian State,” he said.
“Our health spending continues to grow rapidly - health now consumes just under a quarter of total Government expenditure and our per capita rates are level with Queensland and ahead of NSW and Victoria.”
The Treasurer said the Government had also committed an extra $2.1billion to ensure better pay for nurses, doctors, police and teachers.
“The Government needs to pay key service staff at a rate that reflects their vital role, while also continuing to attract and retain the right people,” Mr Ripper said.
“Enterprise bargaining agreements have been reached with the State’s health workers and police, making them among the best paid in the nation, and negotiations with the State’s teachers are ongoing.”
The Government will also provide funding for local water and wastewater infrastructure, including:
· $1million for infill sewerage works in Dawesville (total project cost: $11.6million);
· $1million for infill sewerage works in Halls Head (total project cost: $823,000);
· $3.899million to complete upgrades to the Halls Head Wastewater Treatment Plant (total project cost: $27.478million);
· $1.007million for chlorination works in Mandurah (total project cost: $1.114million);
· $1.272million for works on the Mandurah Tank (total project cost: $1.837million);
· $1.515million for infill sewerage works in Falcon (total project cost: $17.617million);
· $26million for continued works on the link between Lakes Road in Mandurah to the Harvey Stirling Trunk Main (total project cost: $30.535million);
· $1.026million for work on the Mandurah mains, west of the North Mandurah tank (total project cost: $2.456million);
· $20.163million for work on the Mandurah Wastewater Treatment Plant (total project cost: $42.042million); and
· $20.14million for work on the link between the Ravenswood pumping station and North Dandalup pumping station (total project cost: $59.040million).
Other local projects included:
· $610,000 to complete the Local Jobs for Local People project which will improve employment, training and business opportunities for residents in the Peel and South-West. The project includes an industry cluster to support improved access to major contracts, one-on-one business development assistance for up to 40 businesses and funding to Challenger TAFE for delivery of training into smaller towns in the region; and
· $445,000 for up to four new tourism packages in the Peel region and a promotional campaign to target the Perth, national and overseas markets.
Treasurer's office - 9222 9365