Western Australia Minister for Regional Development Brendon Grylls
State Budget 2010-11: Royalties For Regions
Victor P Taffa
The Royalties for Regions program will continue to bring much needed improvements to services and infrastructure in regional communities throughout Western Australia.
Regional Development and Lands Minister Brendon Grylls said key examples of the Liberal-National Government’s commitment to the regions were major revitalisation programs in the Pilbara, Kimberley and Gascoyne regions.
“In addition to the targeted regional plans, Royalties for Regions funding continues to reach communities through the Country Local Government Fund comprising $435 Million over four years to 2013-14 with $102 Million in 2010-11 and through programs prioritised through the Regional Development Council.” Mr. Grylls said.
The Country Local Government Fund builds on the $98 Million allocated to 110 country local governments in 2008-09 that funded some 560 community infrastructure projects and has been extended a further year.
“The Royalties for Regions program is focused on promoting region-building initiatives and to support this policy objective an allocation totalling $521Million is provided over the next four years for projects prioritised through the Regional Development Council and Regional Development commissions. A total of $88 Million is allocated in 2010-11.” the Minister said.
“A total of $896.8 Million is budgeted for expenditure through the Royalties for Regions fund in 2010-11 with $4,275 Million budgeted from 2008-09 to 2013-14.”
Key initiatives of the Royalties for Region program in 2010-11 include:
Since 2008 and to the end of the 2013-14 financial year $977 Million has been committed to the Pilbara Cities Initiative including $150 Million over the forward estimates period and in 2014-15 for a new Nickol Bay Hospital in Karratha. Pilbara Cities funding includes $310 Million ($20 Million in 2010-11) to partner with the Federal Government and the private sector on major infrastructure projects such as power and water supply.
Funding of $131 Million over four years is provided for this project including $31 Million in 2010-11. The plan funds 20 flagship initiatives identified by the four local government authorities of Carnarvon, Exmouth, Shark Bay and Upper Gascoyne. The Gascoyne Revitalisation also includes part-funding from Royalties for Regions for the Carnarvon Police and Justice Complex ($9.5 Million), Carnarvon Hospital ($20.7 Million) and Exmouth Clinic ($8.1 Million).
A total of $270 Million over four years is allocated to the region including $111 Million in 2010-11. The program includes $191 Million for the Ord-East Kimberley Expansion Project, $43 Million for the Kununurra Justice Complex and $35 Million for the Broome Small Boat Facility Stage 1.
Justice services and infrastructure in the Kimberley, Gascoyne and Pilbara
In order to tackle youth offending in the early stages and provide extended hours support service for at-risk families, funding of $43.9 Million over four years is provided to expand Youth Justice Services in the Kimberley and Pilbara and $53 Million for Justice Complexes in Kununurra, Carnarvon and Broome, with $8 Million in 2010-11.
Regional Education Plan
Funding of $152 Million over four years is allocated under this plan with $23 Million in 2010-11. The program provides $100.5 Million for Regional Schools upgrades over four years and $51.9 Million to upgrade Regional Residential Colleges over four years.
An allocation of $120.3 Million is provided over three years including $8.3 Million in 2010-11 to expand mobile telephone coverage on the State’s major regional highways and to address black spots. The program will incorporate an $80.3 Million initiative over the next four years to upgrade communications systems for Regional Police and Emergency services.
Country Age Pension Fuel Card Stage 2
This scheme has an allocation of $96 Million over four years including $23.5 Million in 2010-11 and will be expanded to include additional semi-rural country postcodes in the Peel region, and four additional Centrelink income and assets-tested pension categories: Disability Support Pension, Wife Pension, Widow B Pension and Carer Payment.
Regional Workers Incentives
A total of $110.8 Million is provided over four years for increases to district allowances The funding includes $25.7 Million in 2010-11 to help attract and retain public sector workers who provide essential government services in the North of the State such as the Kimberley, Pilbara and parts of the Gascoyne regions.
Regional Capital Works Initiative
This program will provide $219 Million over four years with $14 Million in 2010-11 to support new capital works projects prioritised by the Regional Development Council.
Investment in Regional Health
• Nickol Bay Hospital, Karratha – $150 Million over the forward estimates period and 2014-15 with $3.5 Million in 2010-11;
• Kalgoorlie Hospital – $15.5 Million over three years with $10 Million in 2010-11;
• Albany Hospital – $60.9 Million over three years with $20.3 Million in 2010-11;
• Carnarvon Hospital – $20.7 Million over four years with $137,000 in 2010-11;
• Esperance Hospital – $18.8 Million from Royalties for Regions in forward years.
• Rural Generalist Pathways program – $8.5Million over three years to support the training of junior doctors in regional areas.
• Indigenous Health Clinics – $22 Million over three years with $6 Million in 2010-11;
• St John Ambulance country services – $26 Million over four years with $5.3 Million in 2010-11 to improve services in regional WA.
Orange School Buses
In order to improve the welfare of thousands of regional schoolchildren using the Orange School Bus service, funding of $10.9 Million over four years, including $3.3 Million in 2010-11, is provided to ensure all new buses are equipped with air conditioning.
Increased support for at-risk families in regional communities through the provision of home visiting services and advice. A total of $27.9 Million will be provided to this program over four years with $2.8 Million available in 2010-11. This program will be expanded to the Murchison and Great Southern regions in 2010-11 and rolled out to other areas of the State over the following two years.
Funding of $5 Million over three years, including $1.6 Million in 2010-11, is allocated to enable the establishment of eight additional Clontarf Academies in regional WA. These will be in Carnarvon, Newman, Northam, Wyndham, Katanning, Derby, Roebourne-Karratha and Fitzroy Crossing.
Mr. Grylls said Royalties for Regions was delivering a program that allowed communities to plan for sustainable social and economic opportunities into the future by putting back the money that regional WA generated.