- State Budget delivers cost of living relief for regional Western Australians
- Major investments into regional health, housing, jobs and training
- New funding for justice, youth and police initiatives to build safer, stronger communities
- More than $4 billion delivered through Royalties for Regions program
The McGowan Government is delivering for the Gascoyne, providing cost of living support for Gascoyne residents while investing significantly in health, housing, and Western Australia's transition to cleaner, stronger, reliable, and affordable energy.
The 2023-24 Budget features a massive $11.2 billion investment in regional infrastructure as well as billions more in regional service delivery.
The State Budget includes $4 billion in Royalties for Regions expenditure over the next four years towards initiatives that strengthen regional communities and ensure services remain close to where people live.
Regional Western Australians will benefit from the McGowan Government's $715 million commitment to deliver further cost of living relief, including providing every WA household with a $400 electricity credit and additional targeted support totalling $826 for households who need it most.
As part of its commitment to keeping power and water affordable for all Western Australians, the McGowan Government will spend $2.7 billion over the next four years to subsidise the costs of providing water and electricity to regional residents.
To continue to ease cost-of-living pressures in the regions, the McGowan Government will deliver a $20.7 million boost to meet increased demand for the highly-successful Regional Airfare Zone Cap, providing affordable airfares for regional residents.
The McGowan Government is delivering a record $2.7 billion additional investment into WA's health system, with the 2023-24 State Budget featuring a significant investment into regional health and mental health, including:
- more than $2.2 billion per annum on regional health and mental health;
- $28.5 million for initiatives to attract and retain key health and mental health professionals, primarily to work in regional WA, with priority given to hard-to-staff sites; and
- $24.4 million to extend the Mental Health Emergency Telehealth Service, providing 24/7 mental health support and allowing country doctors to make referrals whenever needed.
The 2023-24 State Budget strengthens the McGowan Government's record investment into housing, including:
- boosting the commitment to refurbish and deliver Government Regional Officer Housing by $61.6 million;
- $49 million to partner with community housing providers to provide 100 social homes across regional WA in a supported landlord model for rough sleepers;
- $450 million into the Social Housing Investment Fund to deliver more social housing across the State; and
- $12 million over four years to deliver more development ready land throughout regional WA, through the Regional Development Assistance Program.
The McGowan Government's 2023-24 State Budget continues to deliver on the WA Jobs Plan, diversifying regional economies, creating new jobs for the future and developing a pipeline of skills in the regions. Key Gascoyne initiatives include:
- $40 million Sustainable Geoscience Investments package to accelerate critical minerals discoveries, ensuring WA is well-placed to grasp economic opportunities as the world works towards a net zero future;
- $3 million to extend the Affordable Airfares program for a further twelve months, subsidising over 34,000 airfares from Perth to Exmouth, Broome and Kununurra to stimulate visitation;
- $6.5 million to implement the Western Australian Aquaculture Development Plan;
- $2 million from the New Industries Fund to support regional entrepreneurs in the innovation sector;
- $2.5 million to increase the travel accommodation allowance for regional TAFE students; and
- $2.9 million to provide a weekly allowance for regional students studying a Diploma of Nursing.
The McGowan Government continues its record investment into regional roads and transport projects, including:
- a further $407 million on regional road projects and initiatives being invested in this Budget, bringing the total investment over the next four years to $5.3 billion; and
- a $175 million boost to the jointly Commonwealth-State funded Regional Road Safety Program, to continue to deliver life-saving works on regional roads.
The 2023-24 State Budget will help to build safe, strong and fair regional communities, with initiatives in the Gascoyne including:
- $11.7 million to extend Operation Regional Shield, continuing to deliver police into regional communities experiencing youth crime issues;
- $11.7 million to continue the Target 120 rollout across the regions, including in the Gascoyne;
- $1.1 million to continue the Respectful Relationships Teaching Support Program and the provision of culturally appropriate services for victims of family and domestic violence in regional areas;
- $10.4 million to support the extension and enhancement of the Banned Drinkers Register, including its rollout into Carnarvon;
- $5.8 million to extend the successful Driving Access and Equity program to deliver driver training to disadvantaged young people;
- $2.3 million to support Gwoonwardu Mia Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Carnarvon;
- $4.9 million to continue the Regional Athlete Support Program to help regionally-based talented athletes meet their full potential;
- an additional $42.6 million for upgrades to water and wastewater systems in remote communities; and
- $700,000 to continue the Rural, Regional and Remote Network program to support regional women.
The 2023-24 State Budget is a major investment into WA's future, tackling climate change through a $3 billion package as well as investing in protecting the environment. Gascoyne initiatives include:
- $10 million to super-charge Exmouth's transition to renewable energy;
- $7 million to expand the Southern Rangelands Revitalisation project, supporting pastoralists in the Gascoyne to manage climate change impacts;
- $22.2 million to assist industry transition to the mandatory sheep and goat electronic identification (eID) system to bolster WA's animal biosecurity defences;
- $20.2 million to extend vital drought resilience initiatives helping future-proof WA farms;
- $2.2 million to deliver an Electric Vehicle Smart Charger and Vehicle-to-Grid trial through Horizon Power; and
- $10.4 million to boost WA's emergency animal disease preparedness following overseas outbreaks of Foot and Mouth Disease and Lumpy Skin Disease.
The McGowan Government will also invest $77 million to manage and protect Aboriginal cultural heritage in WA, including support for new Local Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Services.
This year's Budget builds on the diverse range of projects and programs already underway in the Gascoyne, including:
- $10 million for upgrades to tourism infrastructure at Mount Augustus, currently underway;
- $7.4 million towards upgrades at the Carnarvon fascine, underway; and
- $8.7 million towards repairing the Carnarvon One Mile Jetty, planning underway.
For more information, visit https://www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"This Budget continues our record of delivering for the Gascoyne - helping to ease cost of living pressures and investing in the region's future.
"My Government is investing a record amount into regional infrastructure, and delivering a significant boost for health and housing in the regions.
"We are committed to keeping the community safe in the Gascoyne, with our Budget including important investments into regional policing and programs targeting at-risk young people.
"WA's responsible financial management provides the opportunity to make significant investments in what matters to Western Australians, while keeping the Budget in a strong position for future generations.
"Our WA Jobs Plan is working, creating long-term jobs across the State, while diversifying WA's economy, driving new job opportunities in high tech manufacturing, clean energy, agriculture, tourism and defence industries."
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Don Punch:
"The Gascoyne is a vitally important region for the State, with fishing, agriculture and tourism being significant drivers for the local economy.
"More importantly though, the community of the Gascoyne is tight knit and hugely passionate about their region.
"Through this Budget, we're investing heavily in the future of the Gascoyne through infrastructure, agriculture, community safety and healthcare, striking the right balance between economic development and the needs of locals.
"Our significant regional investment continues in the 2023-24 State Budget, with $11.2 billion committed to the regions to deliver important projects and improve lives across the State."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6900