Western Australia Minister for Regional Development Brendon Grylls
Western Australia Minister for Commerce Bill Marmion
District Allowance Increase For Regional Public Sector Employees
Victor P Taffa
The State Government has welcomed an announcement by the Public Sector Unions to agree to the State’s offer to substantially increase District Allowance Payments for Eligible Regional Public Sector Employees.
The highest increases affect the Pilbara and Kimberley.
State Government Royalties for Regions funds will be used to raise the Government’s 2008 offer and fund an improved method of calculating District Allowances.
Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls said the offer would assist more than 7,000 Eligible Public Servants located in Regional Areas.
Mr. Grylls said the District Allowance was paid to Regional Public Sector Employees to assist with the higher cost of living, climate and isolation generally associated with working in Regional Western Australia.
“The increase is made possible through Royalties for Regions and is aimed at preventing the loss of Regional Public Sector Employees from the North-West due to increasing costs of living and the lure of high-paying private sector jobs.” the Minister said.
“The $110.8 Million District Allowance offer will be allocated during the next four financial years, starting in 2010-11.”
After the agreement is ratified, Public Sector Employees who work in Karratha will receive a district allowance rate to $9,839 a year from July 1, 2010, up from the current rate of $3,953 a year. The Karratha rate will also apply to public sector employees in the Roebourne-Wickham-Point Sampson area.
Public Sector Employees in the Kimberley will also receive significant increases of $2,500 to $4,500 a year. Eligible employees with dependents receive double those amounts.
Payments will be made once industrial agreements have been registered in the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission.
Commerce Minister Bill Marmion welcomed the union’s support for the Government’s offer.
“I will ensure that finalisation of the agreement occurs as soon as possible.” Mr. Marmion said
“A new methodology for calculating District Allowance based on a two-yearly comprehensive Regional Price Survey will ensure that, in future, District Allowance Rates will remain relevant and provide compensation for Regional Employees.”
“I believe the new allowance will greatly assist public sector employees to remain working in Regional Areas of the State.”