Cook Government Delivering On What Matters For Mid West

  • 2024-25 State Budget delivers cost of living relief for the Mid West
  • Major investments in regional housing, health services and infrastructure
  • Jobs and training to support stronger futures and diversify regional economies
  • More than $4 billion delivered through Royalties for Regions program

The Cook Labor Government is doing what’s right for the Mid West, with the 2024-25 State Budget delivering significant cost of living relief while investing in health facilities and services, housing, infrastructure and outdoor attractions.

The 2024-25 State Budget is focused on WA’s regions, with a record $12.8 billion investment in regional infrastructure, and billions more to fund regional service delivery.

More than $4 billion in Royalties for Regions funding will go towards projects which enrich regional communities, ensuring they remain great places to live, work and raise a family.

Western Australians living in the Mid West will benefit from the Cook Government’s massive $762 million investment in cost of living relief measures, which includes:

  • $492.4 million to provide a $400 electricity credit for every WA household and eligible small businesses;
  • $103.5 million WA Student Assistance Payment initiative, including a $25.8 million regional allocation, to provide $150 or $250 for every WA school student, easing the pressure of school expenses;
  • $20.3 million to increase the value of the Regional Pensioner Travel Card by $100 to $675, reducing transport costs for eligible pensioners in the regions; and
  • $64.5 million in additional investment to continue the popular Regional Airfare Zone Cap scheme.

This cost of living support to regional families is on top of the Cook Government’s $3 billion commitment over the next four years to subsidise the cost of providing water and electricity to regional Western Australians, to keep services affordable for everyone.

The Cook Government is supporting improved and expanded housing options across the State, with a total investment of $1.1 billion in housing and homelessness services, including:

  • $400 million for social and affordable housing projects across the State, including in the regions;
  • $60 million for a Regional Community Housing Grants Program, to support community housing providers to deliver new dwellings or refurbish existing dwellings;
  • $43.8 million in additional investment for Government Regional Officer Housing (GROH), to fund new builds and land acquisitions; and
  • $22 million to expand existing homelessness services, including programs which operate in Geraldton.

Health facilities will be upgraded, and programs to secure staff will be continued, to ensure Western Australians have access to world class healthcare, regardless of where they live. The Cook Government’s $3.2 billion investment in health includes:

  • more than $2.6 billion per annum in regional healthcare investment;
  • $405 million to boost regional health service delivery, including $11.9 million to incentivise nurses and midwives to work in regional WA;
  • $32.5 million to continue the Patient Assisted Travel Scheme, supporting those travelling for treatment;
  • additional funding to finalise contract negotiations with the Royal Flying Doctor Service;
  • $43.4million in extra investment for the Geraldton Health Campus Redevelopment;
  • $8.6 million to expand child development services in the regions;
  • $7.7 million to refurbish outdated staff accommodation; and
  • $2.5 million to develop an extension plan for the Ronald McDonald House facility, supporting families travelling to Perth for medical treatment.

The Cook Government is focused on diversifying regional economies and creating quality local jobs. This includes investments of:

  • $500 million for a new Strategic Industries Fund to transform WA’s industrial areas into major job-creating hubs, including at Oakajee;
  • $324 million investment into the South West Interconnected System, to support WA’s decarbonisation journey, provide certainty to investors, and unlock job-creating renewable energy projects;
  • $18 million for 50 Standalone Power Systems to be installed in the Mid West and Esperance;
  • $1.1 billion in training programs across regional WA, to prepare Western Australians for the jobs of the future;
  • $8 million to extend the highly successful Fee Free TAFE program through the 2025 training year;
  • $16.4 million over the next three years for biosecurity management; and
  • $36.4 million to slash green tape and facilitate approvals for job-creating projects in the regions.

Country roads and regional transport infrastructure will be upgraded, with a $6.4 billion investment. Key regional transport initiatives include:

  • $169 million in additional funding for regional roads, which forms part of a $4.5billion investment in regional roads over the next four years; and
  • $6 million over the next two years to reclad a storage area at the Geraldton Port and replace its dust extraction systems, enabling wider use of the facility; and
  • $12.4 million to upgrade the Milo Road River Crossing and York-Williams Road bridges.

The 2024-25 State Budget will continue to build safe, strong and fair regional communities. Key initiatives include:

  • $23.4 million to extend Operation Regional Shield, which allows WA Police to rapidly deploy officers to the regional areas where they are needed most;
  • $46.3 million to continue the successful Home Stretch WA program, which provides support for young people leaving Out of Home Care, including in the regions;
  • $96.4 million for programs for family and domestic violence across WA, including $26.4 million specifically for regional initiatives; and
  • $7.7 million for various metropolitan and regional career fire and rescue service stations, including $4.9 million to provide firefighters with gender-separate facilities and $2.8 million to install post-incident hygiene showers.

The Cook Government is committed to encouraging Western Australians to explore the State’s great outdoors, while supporting regional local businesses. Regional initiatives across the State in the Budget’s Outdoor and Adventure Tourism package include $69.6million towards boating and maritime facilities, $36 million for trails and other recreational facilities and $14.9 million to deliver a range of new and upgraded campgrounds. Mid West initiatives include:

  • $8.1 million over the next four years to grow sustainable tourism developments in the Houtman Abrolhos Islands; and
  • $8.1 million over the next two years to put in place Phase One of the Kalbarri Foreshore and Beaches Revitalisation initiative.

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As stated by Premier Roger Cook:

“This Budget delivers on my Government’s commitment to always do what’s right for people living in the Mid West.

“We are focused on providing real cost of living relief, with a major investment to ease the pressure on families in our regions.

“Regional WA props up our nation’s economy, and this Budget delivers measures that will drive regional economic growth, diversify regional economies and create jobs for our kids in the regions.

“There’s also major funding for programs which enhance regional centres, ensuring they remain great places to live, work and raise a family for generations to come.”

As stated by Regional Development Minister Don Punch:

“Western Australia’s regions are the heart of our State, and the Cook Government is committed to seeing them thrive.

“We want to ensure that every Western Australian has access to great housing, healthcare, and opportunities to grow – regardless of where they live.

“Our responsible financial management means we are in a position to invest in our regions, with billions of dollars flowing into these areas as part of the 2024-25 State Budget.

“From enhanced tourism infrastructure, to community safety measures, and programs which diversify regional economies, this Budget delivers on what matters for regional Western Australians.”

As stated by Geraldton MLA Lara Dalton:

“The Cook Labor Government continues to support Geraldton and the Mid West community by providing significant cost of living relief and investing in important projects that will strengthen our local economy.

“The State Budget delivers further funding for the Geraldton Health Campus redevelopment, social housing initiatives and training programs such as extending Fee Free TAFE.

“We’re also investing in sustainable tourism at the Abrolhos Islands and revitalising Kalbarri’s foreshore precinct to encourage people to visit our beautiful region, which will provide a boost for local tourism operators and business.”

/Public Release. View in full here.