- 2020-21 State Budget focused on keeping WA safe and strong
- Great Southern region residents to receive $600 credit on electricity bills
- 800 additional police officers to be recruited across the State, on top of 300 already being delivered
- $7.5 billion investment in infrastructure in regional WA, supporting WA jobs
- Budget locks in funding for all Great Southern WA Recovery Plan Projects
- Major investment in local job-creating infrastructure and important services
- McGowan Government delivers record investment for the region
The McGowan Government's strong investment in the Great Southern region continues, with the State Budget funding vital job-creating projects and services to assist with the region's recovery.
As part of the unprecedented $644 million WA Household Electricity Credit, households in the Great Southern region will receive a $600 credit on their electricity bill by the end of the year.
This first-of-its kind announcement recognises that financial support and relief for Western Australians is important to help continue our recovery from the pandemic.
The region will also benefit from the McGowan Government's major announcement to recruit 800 more police officers, on top of the 300 new police officers already being delivered.
This is the largest increase on record, and is expected to result in WA having the highest number of police officers per person of all States.
The Budget includes a total of $4.2 billion in Royalties for Regions funding across regional WA, and a $7.5 billion investment in infrastructure in the regions.
The McGowan Government continues to support vital services across regional WA, such as $239.8 million for regional school bus services, $1 billion to subsidise water costs for country users, and $200 million to support remote Aboriginal communities.
The Budget fully funds the suite of regional projects announced as part of the $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan, which is delivering support for businesses and households, and driving jobs and economic growth in the region.
The 2020-21 State Budget includes:
$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;
$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;
$13 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;
$1.1 million towards projects to complete the Middleton Beach Foreshore Enhancement 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;
$21.4 million for the Regional Aviation Recovery program to ensure affordable airfares for residents and tourists in regional WA;
$15.92 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; and
$700,000 to increase production capacity of the Albany Shellfish Hatchery.
To view the full list of Great Southern region WA Recovery Plan projects funded in the State Budget, visit https://www.wa.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-08/Great%20Southern%20Recovery%20Plan_0.pdf
The McGowan Government has a record of major investment in the Great Southern region over the past four years. Projects currently underway or completed include:
- $30 million for the upgrade of South Coast Highway - Albany to Jerramungup;
- $175 million for the Albany Ring Road project ($35 million from State Government & $140 million from Fed Government);
- $200,000 to replace the Ellen Cove beach enclosure, shark net at Middleton Beach;
- $250,000 to plan for the upgrade of Bremer Bay Boat Harbour;
- $1 million to continue work on the Albany Oyster Reef Restoration Project - reef construction started in November 2019;
- An additional $1 million spend over four years as part of Tourism WA's destination marketing budget to market the Albany, Denmark and Plantagenet area as the Amazing South Coast;
- $13.1 million to deliver radiotherapy services in Albany;
- $522,000 for general maintenance and roofing works at Albany Health Campus;
- Six-bed Step Up/Step Down service opened in November 2018 in Albany;
- $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 including the visual arts area and specialist subject classrooms;
- $9.8 million for upgrades to the Albany Secondary Education Support Centre and North Albany Senior High School;
- $15.2 million major upgrade to Mount Lockyer Primary School;
- $2.5 million to replace transportable classrooms at Flinders Park Primary School;
- Major maintenance blitz included approximately $7.2 million for Great Southern schools;
- $11 million for the Stage 2 Affordable Student Housing project in Albany;
- $5.8 million towards the development of a world class Motorplex;
- $6.9 million to complete the Centennial Park Sporting and Event Precinct;
- $500,000 per year from 2019-20 for the continued operation of the Albany Entertainment Centre;
- $2.3 million to upgrade weather facilities in Albany to Doppler standard to support local farmers;
- $5.72 million for the Katanning Early Childhood Hub;
- $2.8 million for a world-class sheep research facility in Katanning;
- $1.8 million for the Katanning civic centre;
- $3.35 million for the Denmark East Development Precinct;
- $4.4 million for the William Bay National Park renewal project;
- $2.6 million for aged accommodation in Broomehill, Cranbrook, Katanning, Kojonup and Bremer Bay through the Great Southern Housing Initiative;
- $777,500 through the Digital Farm program to rollout high-speed broadband to Great Southern farms; and
- $1.52 million to drive local jobs in the Great Southern through the Regional Economic Development (RED) Grants program.
For more information, visit https://www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"Great Southern households are big winners in the State Budget.
"Financial support and relief for Western Australians is important to help continue our recovery from the pandemic. That's why we've taken the unprecedented step of giving households across WA a $600 credit on their electricity bill this year.
"We know that the pandemic has been extremely challenging for many in our community, and this assistance will make life a little easier for local families.
"I'm also pleased to announce that the local community will benefit from our major boost to police officers. This is the largest increase on record, placing more officers out on the beat and keeping the community safe.
"The State Budget fully delivers on the $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan, which includes major upgrades to infrastructure and services in the Great Southern region, driving economic recovery and creating a pipeline of local jobs.
"Even though COVID-19 caused the largest global economic shock in nearly 100 years, WA's economic and financial position is better than first expected due to our world-leading response and border controls.
"By keeping WA safe and strong, Western Australia can recover from COVID-19, stronger than ever."
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"The State Budget continues our record of investment in the Great Southern.
"The McGowan Government's ongoing guarantee to deliver Royalties for Regions ensures Western Australians have access to quality services, no matter where they live.
"For the past four years, we have been focused on creating local jobs, delivering our election commitments in the region, and ensuring we continue to improve local infrastructure and services like hospitals and schools."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6200