On Monday last week, the ECCI hosted Hon. Reece Whitby MLA, Minister for Environment; Climate Action to discuss the 2022/23 State Budget and its implications for the Gascoyne.

It was fantastic to see many of the Exmouth community attend the event to enjoy a delicious gourmet breakfast by Ningaloo Cooking Studio and listen to the budget highlights relevant to us in the Gascoyne.

Minister Whitby shared that the new budget position remains strong and stable reinstating that WA’s economy has carried the nation through the pandemic. This budget will invest a record amount of $2.5b in our health system, $1.3b to strengthen and diversify our economy and create jobs, $12b investment in regional infrastructure, $4.2b Royalties for Regions program and $600m for services that deliver positive outcomes for Aboriginal people and communities.

The WA economy has performed the strongest in the country throughout COVID-19 and currently has the lowest unemployment rate at 3.4%. Keeping our economy open and strong has flowed through to the State’s financial position, creating a strong operating surplus of $5.7b is expected in 2021-22 and Net debt to fall for a third year to below $30b.

Helping the increased cost of living:

  • $400 Electricity Credit to every WA household
  • Over $2b to subsidise water and electricity for regional WA
  • 3.8% decrease in the household basket of fees and charges in 2022-23
  • Third consecutive year of below-inflation increases in household charges
  • WA Free RAT program saved households at least $150
  • Regional airfares are capped at $299 for Exmouth residents heading to Perth, one way

Investing in Regional WA:

  • Record $12b investment in regional infrastructure
  • Up $2.9b or 32% from 2021-22 Budget
  • $627.7m hospital and health infrastructure
  • $349.2m on school upgrades
  • $5.6b for regional roads
  • Delivering quality services in regional WA
  • $2.2b pa on health services
  • $1.5b pa to provide access to a quality education
  • $410m pa on regional police services
  • Over $4.2b in Royalties for Regions

Creating local jobs and economic diversification in the Gascoyne:

  • $1.3b investment in diversification
  • $48.6m WA Regional Digital Connectivity Program
  • $80m boost to the Investment Attraction Fund
  • $50m increase to the Industrial Land Development Fund
  • $25m WA Agricultural Collaboration
  • Bringing regional road maintenance jobs back in-house
  • $12m WA-Array seismic survey
  • $4.5m Local Capability Fund

Boosting Regional Tourism 

  • $19.3m in preparation for the Total Solar Eclipse event Exmouth
  • $21.1m boost to Tourism WA Destination Marketing
  • $17.7m for new tourism experiences in national parks
  • $30.7m to secure tourism events in WA
  • On top of the $195m Reconnect WA package

A number of additional allocations were also covered including addressing the delivery of quality healthcare, and skills needs, improving education outcomes for WA Students, transforming our regional roads and transport networks and creating stronger and safer regional communities. For more information on the State Budget click here.