The State Government is committed to ensuring the continued success of the South-West region, according to WA Premier Mark McGowan.
On October 9, the Premier joined community leaders and business insiders in Bunbury for the launch of the 2020 State Budget.
This year's budget will see the government fund a slew of projects and initiatives across the South-West, as part of the $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan. These include:
- A $7.5b investment in infrastructure across regional WA, supporting WA jobs;
- A $4.2b investment in Royalties for Regions for regional WA, along with $7.5b for regional infrastructure;
- An additional $78.1 million for Stage 3 of the Transforming Bunbury's Waterfront project, on top of the $34.4m already invested in Stages 1 and 2;
- The recruitment of an additional 800 police officers across WA, on top of the 300 already being delivered;
- An additional $38m for the Bunbury Regional Hospital's redevelopment, on top of the $22.8m already allocated;
- More than $28m for upgrades to South-West schools including Australind Senior High School, Bunbury Senior High School, and Harvey Senior High School;
- A $17m contribution to dual the Bussell Highway, with a further $68 million committed from the Federal Government;
- $8m to build the new Dalyellup Multipurpose Community and Youth Centre;
- $5m to rebuild Hands Oval with contemporary facilities, and;
- $3.35 million for the expansion of Wellington National Park - adding almost 7,500 hectares of state forest.
Mr McGowan said he and the government were keenly focused on delivering job-creating infrastructure and important services.
"We are putting $78m+ into Stage 3 of Bunbury's waterfront redevelopment project. This will create jobs - not just in construction, but in the long-term," he said.
"We're also putting nearly $40m into the Bunbury Regional Hospital, on top of the $20m+ we've already put in.
"This year's budget is about ensuring a stronger and safer state, as we come out of COVID."
Bunbury MLA Don Punch said the budget would go a long way towards assisting the South-West through its coronavirus recovery plans.
"Regional WA is one of the big winners in this year's budget - Bunbury has received the biggest spend on infrastructure that I can ever recall," he said.
"This government has worked hard in the biggest crisis it's ever faced.
"We've come out with a strong budget, we've kept the community safe, and we've got a solid foundation for the future."
Nationals WA South-West Candidate James Hayward said Bunbury has been "shortchanged on crucial development and investment" by this year's budget.
"The Treasurer [Ben Wyatt] announced there would be a $1.2b surplus for this year, achieved on the back of Labor's relentless raiding of Royalties for Regions," he said.
"Through under-spending Royalties for Regions and cost-shifting the delivery of country water services, TAFE, regional school buses, and remote essential services that should be part of normal government expenditure, Labor is denying regional WA $2.7 billion in crucial investment.
"There is little in this budget that gives Bunbury the confidence that Labor cares about our community."
The Nationals plan to restore Royalties for Regions to "full strength", should they return to power next year.