Cook Government delivering on what matters for the South West

  • 2024-25 State Budget delivers cost of living relief for the South 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 South West, with the 2024-25 State Budget delivering significant cost of living relief and housing support, while investing in the redevelopment of Bunbury Hospital, upgrades to the Bunbury Port and new outdoor attractions in the region.

The 2024-25 State Budget is focused on Western Australia’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 South 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 Western Australian 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; and
  • $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.

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, 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; and
  • $43.8 million in additional investment for Government Regional Officer Housing (GROH), to fund new builds and land acquisitions.

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:

  • Over $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;
  • $173.2 million in extra investment toward the redevelopment of Bunbury Hospital over the next four years;
  • $1 million to relocate the Bunbury BreastScreen WA clinic;
  • $8.6 million to expand child development services in the regions;
  • $7.7 million to refurbish staff accommodation; and
  • $2.5 million to develop an extension plan for the Ronald McDonald House facility, supporting families staying in 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 Kemerton and Shotts;
  • $1.1 billion in training programs across regional WA, to prepare Western Australians for the jobs of the future;
  • $67.2 million to continue implementation of the 2024-2033 Forest Management Plan, creating new jobs following the ending of commercial logging of native forests;
  • $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;
  • $36.4 million to slash green tape and facilitate approvals for job-creating projects in the regions; and
  • $1.6 million to host an annual international conference in Bunbury, to promote the South West as a prime location for emerging industries.

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;
  • $14 million for upgrades to the Wellington Dam bridge; and
  • $9.5 million for shed re-cladding works at the Port of Bunbury.

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;
  • $30.2 million to enhance bushfire mitigation activities led by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions;
  • $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;
  • $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;
  • $1.8 million to complete construction of the Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service Station in Margaret River; and
  • $1.4 million to replace the appliance bay at the Volunteer Fire and Rescue Service Station in Harvey.

The Cook Government is committed to encouraging Western Australians to explore the State’s great outdoors, while supporting regional local businesses. Regional initiatives in the State Budget’s Outdoor and Adventure Tourism package include:

  • $69.6million towards boating and maritime facilities across the State, including $4 million for a new fishing platform in Bunbury, as part of the Transforming Bunbury’s Waterfront project;
  • $36 million for trails and other recreational facilities, including $17.5 million to complete the Wadandi Track and $8 million for the Pemberton trails masterplan, which includes the Pemberton Circuit Hike, Two Rivers Adventure Ride and the first two stages of the Pemberton Arboretum mountain bike trails;
  • $14.9 million to deliver a range of new and upgraded campsites, including $4.45 million for campsites in the South West, inclusive of $1.5 million for four coastal campsites at D’Entrecasteaux National Park and $1.2 million for upgrades to the popular Conto and Cape to Cape campgrounds; and
  • $3 million to allow climbing to reopen on the iconic Gloucester and Bicentennial trees.

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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 South 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 and Bunbury MLA 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 Collie-Preston MLA Jodie Hanns:

“This Budget continues our record of delivering for Collie-Preston and investing in the future of our region.

“There is significant investment to attract new industries to our town, creating more local jobs and strengthening our local economy.

“We’re also providing significant cost of living relief for local families and I’m proud we’re continuing to support Collie-Preston households.”

As stated by Warren-Blackwood MLA Jane Kelsbie:

“The Budget highlights the Cook Labor Government’s commitment to the future of Warren-Blackwood.

“We’re delivering significant investment to some of region’s most iconic tourism sights -encouraging visitation to our region to benefit local business.

“Tackling cost of living remains our priority and we’re delivering major relief for local families by providing the WA Student Assistance Payment and another Household Electricity Credit.”

As stated by Murray-Wellington MLA Robyn Clarke:

“This Budget delivers significant cost of living relief for Murray-Wellington residents, while providing strong investment to help diversify our local economy.

“We’re investing in what is important to our community, strengthening the services, support and opportunities for locals.”

/Public Release. View in full here.