- Premier Mark McGowan releases Great Southern Recovery Plan
- Part of $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan to guide WA through COVID-19 recovery
- Plan will create a pipeline of jobs in the Great Southern and support the local economy
- Unprecedented investment in local infrastructure, schools, TAFE, community facilities
- Support for tourism, local manufacturing, and renewable and new technologies
The McGowan Government has unveiled a $57.7 million package for the Great Southern region as part of the WA Recovery Plan, to drive economic and social recovery and create a pipeline of local jobs.
The Great Southern Recovery Plan is focused on getting locals back to work and includes a significant investment in sectors including construction, manufacturing, tourism and hospitality, renewable energy, education and training, and agriculture.
It will deliver a pipeline of short and long term jobs supporting and strengthening our existing industries, as well as laying the foundation for jobs of the future.
As part of the McGowan Government's $229.2 million Rebuilding our TAFEs package, the plan includes upgrades to TAFE infrastructure in the region, including:
- $17 million to South Regional TAFE's Albany campus for a new trade workshop, delivering training in the automotive, engineering and construction industries;
- $25 million for free TAFE short courses to upskill thousands of Western Australians, with a variety of free courses available at South Regional TAFE's Albany, Denmark, Katanning and Mount Barker campuses;
- $32 million across WA to expand the Lower fees, local skills program and significantly reduce TAFE fees across 39 high priority courses; and
- $4.8 million across WA for the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Re-engagement Incentive that provides employers with a one-off payment of $6,000 for hiring an apprentice and $3,000 for hiring a trainee, whose training contract was terminated on, or after, March 1, 2020 due to the economic downturn.
The Great Southern Recovery Plan includes investment in local infrastructure to create opportunities for local businesses and jobs for local workers.
The McGowan Government's revamped Buy Local policy will ensure local businesses are in the box seat to carry out this work. It includes:
- $6.3 million for a new Performing Arts Centre at Albany Senior High School;
- $1.1 million for refurbishments at North Albany Senior High School;
- $1.5 million to upgrade Katanning Police Station;
- $14 million through the Regional Road Safety Program to upgrade 155 kilometres of Great Southern roads with shoulder sealing and installation of audible lines, creating around 80 local jobs;
- fast-tracking construction of the Albany Ring Road - construction to commence in September, two months early;
- $80 million State-wide funding for targeted maintenance programs for regional social, remote and government workers housing properties, including approximately 200 homes in the Great Southern region; and
- $141.7 million across the State to refurbish social, remote and government workers housing across WA's ageing housing stock, including approximately 30 homes in the Great Southern region.
The plan also includes a significant investment in infrastructure and programs to drive tourism and create jobs, including:
- $1.1 million towards projects to complete the Middleton Beach foreshore upgrade including upgrading the northern landscape corridor which will deliver extra car parks, upgrade the Ellen Cove amphitheatre and constructing a link between the boardwalk and jetty;
- $12.78 million to establish trail towns and centres to service existing and new trails in the Great Southern region including the realignment of Munda Biddi Trail through William Bay National Park to Denmark, new trails in the Valley of the Giants to Walpole, new and upgraded trails in Torndirrup National Park, and new and upgraded trails at Castle Rock in the Porongurup National Park;
- $2.24 million to renew walk and cycle trails to encourage people to visit parks in the Great Southern region, including existing trails in the Torndirrup, Porongurup, Walpole-Nornalup and Mount Frankland national parks;
- $1.19 million for upgrades on the Bibbulmun Track and Munda Biddi Trail including renewing camp sites, bridges and sections of the track;
- $1.56 million for new and upgraded visitor facilities in national parks across the Great Southern region, including resealing Coalmine Beach Road in the Walpole-Nornalup National Park, an overflow car park at the Granite Skywalk at Castle Rock in the Porongurup National Park, and a new toilet at Ledge Beach in Gull Rock National Park;
- $400,000 towards upgrades at the Albany Waterfront Marina; and
- $3 million across the State for regional aviation support to ensure a minimum level of service to regional locations, including Albany.
The Great Southern Recovery Plan includes a focus on driving investment in existing and emerging industries. It includes:
- $1.5 million towards a Katanning sheep feed efficiency facility to research feed efficiency and methane production in sheep;
- $700,000 to increase production capacity of the Albany Shellfish Hatchery;
- $8 million to the Offsets Funds for Recovery program that creates green jobs by supporting conservation groups to carry out on-ground works such as fencing, seeding and planting across regional WA, including the Great Southern; and
- $6 million across the State towards the Food Industry Innovation program including programs through Albany's Specialised Food Centre that help value-add to local agrifood producers and processors.
In a first for Western Australia, the McGowan Government will launch a feasibility study into producing wind farm components locally in Western Australia.
This is the first time a State Government has explored the local supply chain for wind farms.
The Great Southern region will also benefit from a range of State-wide programs included in the WA Recovery Plan. For more information, visit http://inthistogether.wa.gov.au
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"I thank each and every member of the Great Southern community for their efforts and sacrifices during the pandemic.
"We must remain vigilant, but our work to reduce the spread of COVID-19 means we are in a strong position to continue the process of recovery.
"The Great Southern Recovery Plan will drive economic and social recovery in the region to ensure it can recover stronger than ever.
"It will create a pipeline of short and long term jobs for locals and deliver huge improvements to local infrastructure and services."
Comments attributed to Albany MLA Peter Watson:
"This is an important step in the region's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The McGowan Government is continuing its record of strong investment in the region, and this plan will deliver important upgrades to local schools, Albany TAFE, tourism infrastructure, roads and other job-creating projects."
Premier's office - 6552 5000