Western Australia Treasurer Colin Barnett
State Budget 2010-11: Strong Foundations. Working Together (Great Southern)
Victor P Taffa
The 2010-11 State Budget handed down by Premier and Treasurer Colin Barnett includes $146 Million for expenditure on assets in the Great Southern region.
The Premier and Treasurer said the $286 Million surplus announced in today’s Budget reflected the Liberal-National Government’s disciplined economic stewardship during the recent global downturn and created a strong foundation for future growth and improved service delivery.
“Today’s $286 Million surplus will ensure the State Government can focus on ensuring services are delivered efficiently, effectively and fairly across the State.” Premier Barnett said.
“This is a great result for all West Australians and I would like to specifically welcome today’s announcement of major projects and improved service delivery for the Great Southern region.”
“This ongoing level of support for important initiatives in the Great Southern region highlights the Liberal-National Government’s commitment to ensuring the benefits and opportunities of a strong economy are shared throughout Western Australia.”
Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls said the Government had budgeted $896.8 Million into developing regional Western Australia under the Liberal-National Government’s Royalties for Regions program for 2010-11.
Royalties for Regions is funded by the equivalent of 25 % of WA’s mining and on-shore petroleum royalty revenue, comprising three key funds the Country Local Government Fund, the Regional Community Services Fund and the Regional Infrastructure and Headworks Fund.
“The program is designed to help regional communities grow and prosper by promoting local decision-making and attracting the resources and investment needed to support development.” Mr. Grylls said.
“In this Budget, Royalties for Regions is allocating $80.3 Million over three years to upgrade communications systems for regional police and emergency services in regional areas.”
“Other programs to be funded in this year’s Budget include upgrades to regional Residential Colleges, the introduction of a Regional Schools plan and the establishment of the Clontarf Foundation Football Academy in Katanning.”
Mr. Grylls said another major announcement was the allocation of $120.3 Million over three years to expand the State’s mobile phone coverage on the State’s highways.
“The shortcomings of mobile telephone coverage on the State’s major regional highways need to be improved and Royalties for Regions funding will provide $8.3 Million in 2010-11 to expand mobile phone coverage to address black spots.” Mr. Grylls said.
“The program will also include $80.3 Million over three years to upgrade communications systems for Regional Police and Emergency Services.”
The Great Southern region will benefit in the 2010-11 Budget from new and continuing Royalties for Regions projects including:
- Albany Hospital – ($20.3 Million);
- Country Age Pension; Fuel Card – ($23.5 Million);
- Establishment of a new Clontarf Football Academy in Katanning (eight State-wide – $1.6 Million).
The 2010-11 Budget also included the biggest ever injection of additional funding for the State’s health system; regional development; significant increases to child protection services; money to strengthen the community sector; and support for young people and families.