- 2021-22 State Budget provides regional WA with a record $9.1 billion infrastructure investment over the next four years
- McGowan Government delivering on election commitments in the Plan for Geraldton
- Geraldton to benefit from major $1.9 billion boost to health and mental health funding
- More than $4.2 billion delivered in the Royalties for Regions program
The McGowan Labor Government is delivering on its plan to keep Geraldton strong, with the State Budget investing billions to create quality local jobs, fund a pipeline of infrastructure works and deliver key services such as health and education.
The 2021-22 State Budget delivers a strong surplus which enables the McGowan Government to deliver major investments for all Western Australians - including infrastructure, hospital and mental health services, social housing and climate action initiatives.
The Budget includes a record $9.1 billion investment in regional infrastructure and $4.2 billion through Royalties for Regions, including $627 million in regional election commitments and other new regional initiatives.
It includes ongoing support for vital services across regional WA, including $463 million for regional school bus services, and $2 billion to subsidise regional electricity and water costs to keep charges in line with what metropolitan users pay.
Regional WA will benefit from a share of the $374 million State-wide investment in Aboriginal well-being.
Delivering the Plan for Geraldton, the McGowan Government has allocated further support for jobs, TAFE, health, schools, regional roads, tourism and community facilities.
The 2021-22 State Budget will continue efforts to revitalise WA's TAFE and training sector, with a $198 million investment per annum in regional WA over the next four years, including:
- Delivering the $4 million upgrade to the visual arts building at Central Regional TAFE's Geraldton campus;
- Continuing the Lower fees, local skills program, which has seen an increase of 32 per cent in enrolments in the Mid-West in 2021;
- $25 million to WA TAFEs for new state-of-the-art equipment;
- $29.8 million to provide 8,000 additional VET places in schools across WA, on top of an additional 1,350 VET places introduced in 2021;
- $19.2 million VET career taster program for Year 9 students; and
- $37 million towards the Employer Incentive Scheme in regional WA.
The McGowan Government will continue to focus on delivering high-quality healthcare for all Western Australians, regardless of where they live, including:
- $1.9 billion investment in health and mental health to improve services throughout WA, including more doctors and nurses in the regions;
- Delivering the $82.3 million Geraldton Hospital upgrade, including $2 million for Stage 2 upgrades which plan for the co-location of St John of God private hospital;
- The Mid-West will share in $2 million to support the work of regional renal support teams;
- $19.7 million for the Patient Assisted Travel Scheme (PATS), increasing the accommodation subsidy to $100 per night, and increasing escort eligibility for people from vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, including women travelling to give birth;
- The Mid-West will benefit from $17.6 million towards social and emotional well-being services for Aboriginal people in regional WA;
- $9.2 million to extend Strong Spirit Strong Mind; and
- $10.9 million to the Royal Flying Doctor Service to upgrade aircraft.
The McGowan Government will continue its strong investment in job-creating projects to drive economic development and tourism, including:
- $7.5 million to deliver road access into the Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area to activate the area as a renewable hydrogen precinct;
- $19.8 million across the State to make air travel for regional residents more affordable;
- $200 million to improve agricultural supply chains by upgrading the State's freight transport network;
- $9.9 million for the construction of a port-wide firefighting system and $8 million to acquire land and upgrade roads at the Port of Geraldton;
- $100 million Investment Attraction and New Industries Fund;
- $120 million for more than 150 frontline officers to speed up project approvals;
- $12.1 million to implement the regional component of the Jina: Western Australian Aboriginal Tourism Action Plan 2021-25;
- $45 million to expand the Aboriginal Rangers Program;
- Continuing the successful $40 million Regional Economic Development grants program, which since 2018 has invested over $2 million in 20 projects in the Mid-West, helping to create over 87 local jobs;
- $12.9 million boost to regional arts programs;
- $15 million for the Agriculture Climate Resilience Fund; and
- $15.1 million to strengthen WA's biosecurity capabilities.
The State Budget also includes important investment in quality education for young people in the regions, including:
- $1.5 billion will be spent each year to provide regional students with a quality education, in addition to $427.5 million over the next four years for refurbishments, upgrades and new builds for regional primary and secondary schools;
- $3 million for new STEM buildings at Champion Bay Senior High School and Geraldton Senior High School;
- A share of $4.8 million for three Virtual Power Plants at Geraldton public schools;
- $38.5 million to expand Alternative Learning Settings programs, designed to affect positive and lasting change in behaviours for students who have been excluded from school; and
- Investment to ensure every primary school student across the region has access to a science education.
After delivering record investment in regional roads over the past four years, the McGowan Government will oversee another significant investment into regional roads, including:
- $4.5 billion for major road projects and programs throughout regional WA;
- $1.14 million to widen the road to accommodate a right turn pocket at the intersection of Brand Highway and West Bank Road, Greenough; and
- Over $70 million for the Regional Road Safety Program to invest in repairing, rebuilding and road safety treatments on more than 550 kilometres of roads in the Mid-West-Gascoyne.
Geraldton will share in a $17.8 million investment for the placement of 36 additional career firefighters in Geraldton, Albany and Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
Geraldton will share in a $9.7 million allocation to employ 20 staff to assist in the mammoth recovery effort from Tropical Cyclone Seroja, in addition to the $104.5 million of joint Commonwealth-State recovery funding already made available.
Social and public housing in the Geraldton suburb of Spalding will receive a $9 million upgrade. $18 million will also be spent for Geraldton Aboriginal Short Stay Accommodation.
Geraldton will also benefit from the delivery of the $34.5 million Housing First Homelessness Initiative, working to reduce rough sleeping by accommodating people experiencing homelessness and providing supports to help them maintain their tenancies.
The 2021-22 State Budget also includes significant investment to help keep Western Australians active, healthy and connected with their communities, including:
- $3.2 million at Drummond Cove to manage coastal erosion and improve community recreation facilities;
- $2 million for a major upgrade of the Geraldton Basketball Stadium, providing more courts for the Geraldton Amateur Basketball Association;
- $4.3 million to implement the Geraldton Cycling Network Expansion Project; and
- $14 million to continue the Aboriginal Community Connectors program, including in Geraldton.
For more information, visit https://www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"My Government's responsible financial management is enabling us to invest in the regions to keep Geraldton strong - creating local jobs, building a pipeline of infrastructure works and supporting vital services like health and education.
"We're funding our Plan for Geraldton to keep the regional economy growing, while delivering on our election commitments for the local community.
"Our WA Jobs Plan preferences Western Australians for local jobs first, as we work to diversify the regional economy in Geraldton, attract investment and build a skilled workforce for the future.
"The 2021-22 State Budget is working to deliver a strong and vibrant region, with quality local services that give people every reason to live, work and raise a family in Geraldton."
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"Our Government is continuing to build strong and resilient regional communities, working to diversify our regional economies and create local jobs.
"We are delivering on our election commitments, and helping our regions to embrace future opportunities and 21st century industries.
"We are getting on with activating the Oakajee Strategic Industrial Area as a major renewable hydrogen precinct, putting Geraldton at the forefront of this new global industry."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6200