The State Government has pointed to investments in regional, health, housing, jobs and training and cost of living relief as State Budget benefits for the Pilbara.
In a statement, it said key Pilbara initiatives included:
- An additional $35 million for the Industrial Land Development Fund, to support activation of Strategic Industrial Areas in the Pilbara.
- $40 million Sustainable Geoscience Investments package to accelerate critical minerals discoveries, ensuring WA is well-placed to grasp economic opportunities as the world works towards a net zero future.
- $6.5 million to implement the Western Australian Aquaculture Development Plan.
- $2 million from the New Industries Fund to support regional entrepreneurs in the innovation sector.
- An additional $20.4 million towards upgrades at Roebourne District High School.
- $2.5 million to increase the travel accommodation allowance for regional TAFE students.
- $2.9 million to provide a weekly allowance for regional students studying a Diploma of Nursing; and
- $3.1 million to expand the Heavy Vehicle Driver Training Program to the Pilbara and Kimberley.
It said regional Western Australians would benefit from the Government’s $715 million commitment to deliver further cost of living relief, including providing every WA household with a $400 electricity credit and additional targeted support totalling $826 for households who need it most.
It would spend $2.7 billion over the next four years to subsidise the costs of providing water and electricity to regional residents.
To continue to ease cost of living pressures in the regions, the Government will deliver a $20.7 million boost to meet increased demand for the highly successful Regional Airfare Zone Cap, providing affordable airfares for regional residents.
In health, more than $2.2 billion a year was allocated to regional health and mental health services, $28.5 million for initiatives to attract and retain key health and mental health professionals, primarily to work in regional WA, with priority given to hard-to-staff sites; and $24.4 million to extend the Mental Health Emergency Telehealth Service, providing 24/7 mental health support and allowing country doctors to make referrals whenever needed.
Projects already underway include:
- $187.5 million for the Port Hedland Spoilbank Marina, currently under construction.
- $129.1 million towards the expansion of Lumsden Point at Port Hedland.
- $48.9 million for a major upgrade including new trades training facilities at North Regional TAFE’s Pundulmurra campus in South Hedland, under construction.