State Budget delivers support for Aboriginal Western Australians

  • Almost $300 million in additional funding in 2024-25 State Budget to support Aboriginal wellbeing
  • New investment for a range of economic, social and community initiatives to close the gap and help improve the lives of Aboriginal people across WA
  • Significant funding for the delivery of reliable energy to Aboriginal Communities

The Cook Labor Government has committed almost $300 million of increased investment as part of the 2024-25 State Budget, to support the empowerment and wellbeing of Aboriginal Western Australians.

The significant new funding will support the State Government’s ongoing work to address key Closing the Gap targets, while also expanding culturally appropriate community services and extending job-creating programs across a range of industries.

This includes $58.3 million to facilitate implementation of Indigenous Land Use Agreements and joint management activities with Traditional Owners for both the South Coast Marine Park and the Fortescue Marsh Nature Reserve.

As part of the Government’s ongoing commitment to the 10-year Early Years Partnership (2018-2028), an additional $15.6 million will be spent over the next four years to support the delivery of 11 priority projects aimed at supporting and improving early childhood outcomes across four Western Australian communities, including Derby and Bidyadanga.

To deliver more reliable energy to Aboriginal communities, $25.2 million will be provided for energy improvements and efficiencies to social homes through a Social Housing Energy Performance Initiative (SHEPI).

A further $7.5 million has been allocated for Horizon Power to rebuild the power station in the Blackstone community, while new funding of $4.5 million will enable the buyout of existing power station assets in Ardyaloon, Bidyadanga, Beagle Bay, Djarindjin-Lombadina and Warmun.

In addition, $8 million will be invested in further priority airstrip renewals in remote communities in the Kimberley region and $1.2 million for municipal services in remote communities.

Significant funding has been allocated to bolster culturally appropriate community services, including:

  • $12.3 million for an 18-month extension to the Aboriginal Social and Emotional Wellbeing programs in five regional areas and a youth specific program in the Kimberley;
  • $5.1 million for the continuation of the Dandjoo Bidi-Ak program to empower Aboriginal families with children in care;
  • $8.2 million for the continuation of the In Roads program for vulnerable young people, including Aboriginal children; and
  • $5.9 million to continue the Aboriginal Representative Organisation (ARO) and Aboriginal Family Led Decision Making (AFLDM) services to support the delivery of culturally responsive services.

This Budget also includes significant investment to support Aboriginal jobseekers, with $4.2 million provided for the continuation of the Department of Training and Workforce Development’s enhanced culturally appropriate and targeted support for Aboriginal clients at Jobs and Skills Centres. A further $800,000 will also be spent to extend the Aboriginal Business Capability Program for a further two years.

To support Closing the Gap initiatives, $3.5 million will be invested, including targeted support for the East Kimberley Place Based Partnership and the Aboriginal Advisory Council of Western Australia, while $870,000 will be put towards expanding Legal Aid’s Disability Advocacy and Referral Diversion Program for Young People (DARDY) for two years.

Other initiatives funded as part of the 2024-25 State Budget include:

  • $6.2 million for the expansion of WA Police’s Community Liaison Officer program;
  • $4.5 million in 2024-25 for the remediation of illegally dumped asbestos within the Nyamba Buru Yawuru’s Yinajalan Ngarrungunil Health and Wellbeing Campus site in Broome;
  • $3.1 million to continue the Aboriginal Community Connectors Program;
  • $2.7 million to support implementation of the Kimberley Partnership Agreement by the Mental Health Commission;
  • $1.3 million to enable completion of Stage One of the Bidyadanga project, a placed-based partnership to enable a ‘town like’ community in Bidyadanga;
  • $623,000 to support the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation (MAC) Partnership; and
  • $200,000 to deliver the Aboriginal Engagement and Partnership Framework.

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As stated by Aboriginal Affairs Minister Dr Tony Buti:

“The Cook Government is committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal communities, and ensuring they have access to good jobs, training, services and education, with an additional $300 million in investment delivered as part of the 2024-25 State Budget.

“We are continuing to invest in a range of economic, social and community initiatives to meet our commitments and targets through WA’s Closing the Gap Implementation Plan.

“The 2024-25 State Budget affirms our commitment to strengthening services that support empowerment, self-determination and wellbeing for Aboriginal people.

“We are also continuing to work in partnership with Aboriginal Western Australians to grow their communities – both economically and socially.”

/Public Release. View in full here.