- Budget commitments target environmental protection
- Investment will deliver national park infrastructure, new marine reserves
- WA Recovery Plan to create conservation jobs pipeline
The McGowan Government's strong commitment to the environment in the 2020-21 State Budget ensures Western Australia's economic recovery works hand in hand with our State's most precious natural assets.
During the next four years, the State Government will deliver $25.6 million to the Plan for Our Parks initiative, which aims to create five million hectares of new national parks, marine parks and conservation reserves across WA.
This significant investment will assist the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) in progressing the negotiation of Indigenous Land Use Agreements with traditional owners, reserve creation and management plans.
Areas identified under the Plan for Our Parks will receive additional funding for infrastructure, tourism development and management over the next four years.
This includes $3.35 million for Wellington National Park near Collie, $8.4 million for Kalgulup Regional Park near Bunbury, $6.7 million for Ningaloo Coastal Reserves and $13.8 million for the newly created Houtman Abrolhos Islands National Park.
Many of the State's natural icons are also set to undergo major improvements as part of the WA Recovery Plan, which will create a pipeline of jobs and get people to 'Wander out Yonder' to visit attractions and support local businesses.
As part of the WA Recovery Plan, DBCA's Parks and Wildlife Service has been allocated $41.3 million over four years for trails, roads, asset improvements, recreation facilities and other attractions across WA.
The State Government's $4.7 million commitment to the container deposit scheme has already created more than 600 jobs at refund points, in processing, transporting and recycling containers. During the next 20 years, the State-wide scheme is expected to divert an additional 6.6 billion containers from landfill and litter.
A $56 million investment in other waste recovery and education initiatives over the last three years has included grants to support recycling infrastructure and programs which improve the recovery and reuse of waste.
To support the implementation of the Council of Australian Governments' waste export bans, an additional $30 million in State Government infrastructure grant funding and $5 million worth of industrial land will be provided for projects that can help boost the domestic processing of plastics, tyres, and mixed paper and cardboard.
The State Government's commitment to the environment is also reflected in the continued financial support for the Aboriginal Ranger Program and a significant investment to develop an interpretive centre for the Murujuga rock art of the Burrup Peninsula.
As part of the WA Recovery Plan, $60.3 million will be invested by the McGowan Government in the Green Jobs Plan during the next three years. The plan will support projects that protect our environment and create more than 1,000 conservation jobs across the State. The WA Recovery Plan also includes a $10 million investment in the Clean Energy Future Fund to support clean energy projects in Western Australia, in addition to $9.3 million previously announced.
A commitment of $15 million has been allocated to set up a Native Vegetation Rehabilitation Scheme. In combination with the State's $8 million Offsets Fund for Recovery program, the scheme will target revegetation, habitat restoration and the protection of existing vegetation.
WA rivers and estuaries will also benefit from the Green Jobs Plan, with the Healthy Estuaries WA program utilising a $25 million investment to improve the health of at-risk regional estuaries in the south-west, creating a number of local jobs.
The McGowan Government is also continuing its efforts to streamline environmental assessments and approvals. The $28 million Environment Online initiative led by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and a $7.7 million funding commitment to the new Biodiversity Information Office will assist in the State's post-pandemic recovery by minimising delays to major project approvals.
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
"This Budget includes important initiatives to protect Western Australia's unique natural environment while also creating opportunities for jobs, business and tourism.
"The McGowan Government is committed to reducing waste and continues to implement key strategies to improve recycling and reduce the impact of waste on our environment.
"This Budget ensures WA's economic recovery works hand in hand with the protection of our State's unique environment, including our national parks and amazing natural assets.
"Western Australians wholeheartedly embraced the container deposit scheme, rolled out across the State last week. The scheme demonstrates the McGowan Government's dedication to positive environmental outcomes and to the Western Australian community to deliver the nation's most diverse and accessible cash-for-containers incentives.
"Our Green Jobs Plan will protect the environment and place us in the best possible economic position post COVID-19."
Minister's office - 6552 5800