Western Australia Treasurer Colin Barnett
State Budget 2010-11: Strong Foundations. Working Together (Gascoyne)
Victor P Taffa
The 2010-11 State Budget handed down by Premier and Treasurer Colin Barnett includes $75 Million for expenditure on assets in the Gascoyne region.
The Premier and Treasurer said the $286 Million surplus announced in the 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 Gascoyne region.”
“This ongoing level of support for important initiatives in the Gascoyne 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 WA 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; Regional Community Services Fund; and the Regional Infrastructure and Headworks Fund.
“Royalties for the Regions are 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.
“This Budget includes funding of $131 Million for the Gascoyne Revitalisation Plan which will address key infrastructure and services in the region such as water; power; health; community development and town centre revitalisation; tourism; maritime; and housing and land availability.
“This includes part-funding for the Carnarvon Police and Justice Complex of $9.5 Million.
“Upgrades to regional health services will also start this year with $20.7 Million allocated over four years for the Carnarvon Hospital and $8.1 Million over three years to upgrade the Exmouth Clinic.”
The 2010-11 Budget confirms construction of the Carnarvon Police and Justice Complex with combined funding of $52.5 Million and provides $15 Million for the redevelopment of Exmouth District High School. The project is expected to be completed by 2011.
Mr. Grylls said another major announcement was the allocation of $120.3 Million over three years to expand WA’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 2010-11 Budget also includes 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.