The McGowan Labor Government is investing a record $12 billion in regional infrastructure, more than $4.2 billion in Royalties for Regions, and billions more in health, services and cost of living relief – setting regional Western Australia up for the long-term with the 2022-23 State Budget.
The State Government’s strong financial management enables billions of dollars of continued investment in quality services for all Western Australians, no matter where they live.
Regional infrastructure spending is up a massive $2.9 billion from last year’s State Budget and Royalties for Regions expenditure remains robust – including $263 million in regional election commitments and other new initiatives.
Country health and mental health investment is increasing by $158.3 million this Budget.
As part of this investment, $30.1 million will be spent on an additional 18 paid paramedics and six new ambulances for regional WA – delivering on a key election commitment.
This is in addition to $1.6 billion of COVID-19 response and recovery measures, including the provision of free RATs to regional communities.
Cost of living relief is a key focus of the 2022-23 State Budget – with households in country WA to benefit from a range of measures.
The $400 Household Electricity Credit will help see household fees and charges decline by 3.8 per cent – the third year in a row they have been kept below projected inflation.
More than $2 billion will also be invested to keep regional water and electricity costs in line with what metropolitan users pay, while $541.3 million will be spent to continue to fund regional school bus services around the State.
The McGowan Government’s Australian-first regional airfares cap begins July 1 – delivering on a key election commitment to ensure regional residents are protected from exorbitant airfares when travelling to and from Perth.
The policy will see regional residents within a 1,000 kilometre driving distance from Perth pay no more than $199 each way, and those more than 1,000km from Perth pay no more than $299 each way – when tickets are booked as return flights.
$48.6 million will be invested to establish the Regional Digital Connectivity Program to improve mobile and internet coverage in the country.
The McGowan Government is also investing $11 million for a Large Air tanker to be permanently based in regional WA over the bushfire season for the first time, with an additional $4.2 million to help with ongoing disaster recovery efforts.
Hundreds of millions of dollars will be invested to grow and diversify regional economies – including industry attraction, agricultural research and development, and tourism investment to encourage people to travel throughout regional WA.
$5.6 billion is allocated towards improving and renewing regional road infrastructure – enhancing road safety, reducing travel times and increasing freight efficiency.
About $1.5 billion per year will be invested to provide regional students with access to quality education – including $349.2 million for refurbishments, upgrades and new builds at regional primary and secondary schools over the next four years.
$200 million per annum will be spent over the forward estimates to fund regional TAFEs – providing quality vocational education and training, career and employment advice, and TAFE support services for regional Western Australians.
WA Police’s regional operations and activities will be funded with a total investment of more than $410 million per annum.
$2.5 million is being invested in Operation Regional Shield to crack down on youth crime – while the Target 120 program will be rolled out to eight new regional locations as part of an $11.1 million expansion of the successful initiative for at-risk youth.
For more information, visit https://www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au
As stated by Premier and Treasurer Mark McGowan:
“This State Budget infrastructure spending in the regions is up a massive $2.9 billion on last year – with $12 billion of important job-creating projects securing the future of regional WA.
“Regional health is a major focus of this Budget, with millions more invested in additional doctors, nurses, paramedics and services to ensure everyone has access to quality care – no matter where they live.
“We have worked hard to keep cost of living down – with the $400 Household Electricity Credit, over $2 billion in subsidies to keep the costs of utilities down and our Australian-first cap on regional airfares beginning July 1.
“We are investing millions more to diversify regional economies – ensuring we continue to create local jobs, grow regional tourism and support the many regional communities which help power the WA economy.
“Regional services like TAFE, police and education continue to receive strong support – ensuring our regional towns and cities remain wonderful places to live.”
As stated by Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
“The McGowan Government is once again making a record infrastructure investment into regional WA – continuing to create opportunities for country communities.
“We want to make sure regional Western Australians continue to have access to improved TAFE and training, job opportunities, health services and schools.
“We are setting regional WA up for the long term – diversifying the economy, creating jobs in emerging industries and making sure all Western Australian benefit from the State’s prosperity.”