- 2021-22 State Budget provides regional WA with a record $9.1 billion infrastructure investment over the next four years
- McGowan Government delivering election commitments in the Plan for the Pilbara
- Pilbara 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 the Pilbara strong, with the State Budget investing billions to create quality local jobs, fund a pipeline of infrastructure works and deliver key services like 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 the Pilbara, 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:
- continuing upgrades at North Regional TAFE, including the $6.5 million expansion at Minurmarghali Mia (Roebourne) campus and $27 million trades expansion at Pundulmurra (South Hedland) campus;
- continuing the Lower fees, local skills program, which has seen an increase of 31 per cent in enrolments in the Pilbara 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;
- $14.8 million for the construction of a Step Up/Step Down community mental health facility in South Hedland;
- $785,000 for a Women and Newborn Health Service pilot program delivered by Karratha's Women's Place;
- $10 million boost to health initiatives at Karratha Health Campus;
- $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;
- an additional 5.5 full time equivalent paid paramedics in the Pilbara region, delivering on an election commitment;
- the Pilbara will share in $2 million to support the work of regional renal support teams;
- the Pilbara will share in $17.6 million towards social and emotional well-being services for Aboriginal people in regional WA;
- $10.9 million to the Royal Flying Doctor Service to upgrade aircraft; and
- $9.2 million to extend Strong Spirit Strong Mind.
The McGowan Government will continue its strong investment in job-creating projects to drive tourism and economic development, including:
- $363.9 million for Pilbara Ports' asset investment program, including works and revetment upgrades at the port of Port Hedland and the construction of infrastructure at the Port of Ashburton, to support the development of multi-user facilities;
- continuing delivery of the $121.4 million Spoilbank Marina at Port Hedland, which will extend boat launching facilities, and improve access and safety for recreational boaters;
- $16 million for improved visitor facilities at key recreation sites at Karijini National Park, including Dales and Weano Gorges;
- $5 million for improvements to visitor facilities at Conzinc Bay in Murujuga National Park;
- $4.4 million for the Northern Native Seed Development initiative;
- $19.8 million across the State to make air travel for regional residents more affordable;
- $615,000 additional expenditure from the Pilbara Environmental Offsets Fund;
- $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 $2.3 million in 28 projects in the Pilbara, helping to create over 325 local jobs;
- $12.9 million boost to regional arts programs; 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;
- $3.5 million expansion of Baler Primary School in South Hedland;
- $5.5 million for a new classroom block at Baynton West Primary School in Karratha;
- $4.5 million for a new classroom block at Cassia Primary School in South Hedland;
- $1 million to upgrade air conditioning and refurbish the music hall at Dampier Primary School;
- $750,000 to upgrade bitumen surfaces at Tambrey Primary School in Karratha;
- $700,000 to transform a classroom into a STEM classroom at Newman Senior High School;
- $876,000 Solar Schools initiative, that includes the installation of solar panels on 10 schools across the Pilbara;
- $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
- $1 million over five years to extend the award-winning Better Beginnings program, including to the Pilbara.
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;
- $120 million to upgrade and seal 100km of Marble Bar Road;
- $380 million to construct and seal Manuwarra Red Dog Highway Stage 4;
- $36 million for Port Hedland Airport deviation; and
- over $49 million for the Regional Road Safety Program to invest in repairing, rebuilding and road safety treatments on more than 720 kilometres of roads in the Pilbara.
The 2021-22 State Budget also includes significant investment to help keep Western Australians active, healthy and connected with their communities, including:
- $10 million for improvements to the Port Hedland Sporting and Community Hub; and
- $14 million to continue the Aboriginal Community Connectors program, including in Hedland and Roebourne.
$1.5 million will be spent to provide additional on-country mentoring, drug and alcohol services and therapeutic programs for the Western Desert Justice Program, east of Newman.
An additional $17 million will be spent on regional youth justice services in the Pilbara and Kimberley.
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 and keep the Pilbara strong - creating local jobs, building a pipeline of infrastructure works and supporting vital services like health and education.
"We're funding our Plan for Pilbara 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 the Pilbara, 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 the Pilbara."
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."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6200