Western Australia Treasurer Colin Barnett
State Budget 2010-11: Strong Foundations. Working Together (Kimberley)
Victor P Taffa
The 2010-11 State Budget handed down by Premier and Treasurer Colin Barnett today includes $317 Million for expenditure on assets in the Kimberley 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 Kimberley region.”
“This ongoing level of support for important initiatives in the Kimberley 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 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.
“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.
Mr. Grylls said the start of work on the Ord East Kimberley Expansion Project was an example of Royalties for Regions continuing to deliver a major State infrastructure project.
“Activity on the Ord East Kimberley Expansion Project will ramp up in the 2010-11 financial year with construction of 19km of irrigation channel and 13km of road to support 8,000ha of farm land to be developed.” Mr. Grylls said.
“The project is funded by $220 Million from the Royalties for Regions program in partnership with $195 Million from the Commonwealth to support education, housing, health and community services.”
“The Budget also provides $43 Million for a new Justice complex in Kununurra and $500,000 for planning on a new Justice complex in Broome as well as $43.9 Million to expand the Kimberley and Pilbara Youth Justice Services.”
“A much sought-after announcement in this Budget is $35 Million over the next three years for the development of a Broome small boat facility with $5 Million planned for 2010-11.” Mr. Grylls said.
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.” the Minister 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.