Western Australia Treasurer Colin Barnett
State Budget 2010-11: Strong Foundations. Working Together (Pilbara)
Victor P Taffa
The 2010-11 State Budget handed down by Premier and Treasurer Colin Barnett today includes $278 Million for expenditure on assets in the Pilbara 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 Pilbara region.”
“This ongoing level of support for important initiatives in the Pilbara 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 State 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.
The budget confirms new funding of $150 Million over five years to rebuild the Nickol Bay Hospital and delivers funding to continue work on the $22.5 Million major redevelopment of the Karratha Primary School. The Karratha Senior High School is funded with construction to commence on the $46 Million Stage Two of the redevelopment of the Senior High School to provide facilities for students in Years 8 and 9.
Mr. Grylls said that $977 Million would have been invested into the Pilbara region to the end of 2013-14 through Royalties for Regions, revitalising towns and addressing the lack of services and infrastructure.
“This is the Liberal-National Government’s vision for Pilbara Cities to provide modern vibrant communities and regional centres that will support and deliver a skilled workforce for major economic projects in the Pilbara.” Mr. Grylls said.
The Minister said that $310 Million, including $20 Million in 2010-11, would be provided by Royalties for Regions to partner with the Federal Government and the private sector including mining companies and indigenous corporations, on major infrastructure projects to address the development of the region.
Mr. Grylls said the announcement of a new Nickol Bay Hospital meant that Karratha residents would have adequate medical facilities close to home to cater for the current population and also allow for future growth.
“This Budget has also provided funding for the Regional Workers Incentive scheme with $110.8 Million being provided over the next four years.” Mr. Grylls said.
“This will provide our essential workers with the necessary wages to encourage them to work in the Pilbara region and with the changes we are making with the Pilbara Cities program, encourage them to consider long term employment in the area.”
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.