State Budget 2023: Funding for Mid West projects revealed as State records $3.3 billion surplus

Jamie ThannooGeraldton Guardian
WA Premier and Treasurer Mark McGowan has handed down WA’s 2023-24 Budget at Dumas House in West Perth.
Camera IconWA Premier and Treasurer Mark McGowan has handed down WA’s 2023-24 Budget at Dumas House in West Perth. Credit: Justin Benson-Cooper/The West Australian

The State Budget has been revealed, outlining the State Government’s plans for the Mid West and WA as it records a $3.3 billion surplus.

On a Statewide level, the McGowan Government has announced a $715 million cost-of-living relief package for WA families and small businesses, headlined by a $400 electricity credit for all households.

In addition, $2.2b a year will be spent on regional health and mental health services, including $6.3m to extend regional cancer services, $24.4m for the Mental Health Emergency Telehealth Service and $8.2m to improve WA Country Health Service staff housing.

As well, $5.3b will be invested in improving and renewing road infrastructure, including $55m for Indian Ocean Drive between Jurien Bay and Brand Highway, and $175m will go to the Commonwealth-State funded Regional Road Safety Program.

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The existing 180MW Warradarge Wind Farm, located near Eneabba and owned by Bright Energy, could potentially see an expansion, as it will take a share of $368m, as part of $2.7b being spent across the State to support the low-emissions transition.

It was announced that Waggrakine Primary School would receive $9m for an education support facility as part of an effort to support low to moderate needs students.

The previously announced $350m Geraldton Port Maximisation project remains on the books, with a couple of smaller maritime investments also announced, including $10m for Geraldton Fishing Boat Harbour for early stage works on a boat building precinct, as well as $7.2m in additional upgrades to the Port of Geraldton, including a wastewater treatment plant.

The $27.8m Geraldton Aboriginal Short Stay Accommodation is also still in the Government’s plan, with the Budget outlining $8.3m for the operational costs and maintenance of the accommodation.

It was also revealed the cyclone Seroja recovery effort cost the State $25.2m less than expected, mostly because insurance for people and businesses in the region covered more than was previously expected.

The Geraldton Health Campus Redevelopment and Mid West Hydrogen Hub projects also remain, with no changes in funding announced.

Premier Mark McGowan said the Budget would continue his Government’s work of diversifying the region’s economy while responsibly managing the State’s finances.

“This Budget continues our record of delivering for the Mid-West — helping to ease cost-of-living pressures and investing in the region’s future,” he said.

Geraldton MLA Lara Dalton added: “The State Budget features major investments into the issues that matter to people in Geraldton — regional health and housing, plus initiatives to build safer, stronger communities.”

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