$12b allocated for regional WA infrastructure from 2022-23 State Budget

Updated May 12 2022 - 6:52am, first published 6:32am
Big infrastructure spend for regional WA

The State government has allocated $12 billion in regional infrastructure and more than $4.2 billion in Royalties for Regions in the 2022-23 State Budget announced this afternoon.

Regional infrastructure spending is up $2.9b from last year's State Budget and Royalties for Regions expenditure remains robust - including $263 million in regional election commitments and other new initiatives.

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Country health and mental health investment is increasing by $158.3m this budget.

As part of this investment, $30.1m will be spent on an additional 18 paid paramedics and six new ambulances for regional WA.

This is in addition to $1.6b of COVID-19 response and recovery measures, including the provision of free RATs to regional communities.

The $400 Household Electricity Credit will help see household fees and charges decline by 3.8 per cent.

More than $2b will be invested to keep regional water and electricity costs in line with what metropolitan users pay, while $541.3m will be spent to continue to fund regional school bus services around WA.

The government's Australian-first regional airfares cap begins July 1.

The policy will see regional residents within a 1000 kilometre driving distance from Perth pay no more than $199 each way, and those more than 1000km from Perth pay no more than $299 each way - when tickets are booked as return flights.

$48.6m will be invested to establish the Regional Digital Connectivity Program to improve mobile and internet coverage in the country.

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The government is also investing $11m for a Large Air tanker to be permanently based in regional WA over the bushfire season for the first time, with an additional $4.2m to help with ongoing disaster recovery efforts.

$5.6b is allocated towards improving and renewing regional road infrastructure - enhancing road safety, reducing travel times and increasing freight efficiency.

About $1.5b per year will be invested to provide regional students with access to quality education - including $349.2m for refurbishments, upgrades and new builds at regional primary and secondary schools over the next four years.

$200m per annum will be spent over the forward estimates to fund regional TAFEs - providing quality vocational education and training, career and employment advice, and TAFE support services for regional Western Australians.

WA Police's regional operations and activities will be funded with a total investment of more than $410m per annum.

$2.5m is being invested in Operation Regional Shield to crack down on youth crime - while the Target 120 program will be rolled out to eight new regional locations as part of an $11.1m expansion of the successful initiative for at-risk youth.

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