Slim pick­ings for Kim­ber­ley

Broome Advertiser - - News - Glenn Cord­ing­ley and Jakeb Wad­dell

Premier Mark McGowan says his Government has de­liv­ered a budget on things that mat­ter in the Kim­ber­ley, but the lion’s share is for projects al­ready be­gun or funded.

An­nounced in Perth last week, it in­cludes $21 mil­lion to con­tinue de­liv­ery of re­gional youth jus­tice ser­vices in the re­gion and the Pil­bara.

Mr McGowan said the in­vest­ment built on cur­rent projects and in­cluded more than $4 bil­lion in Roy­al­ties for Re­gions across WA and $200.2 mil­lion in job-cre­at­ing in­fra­struc­ture.

Apart from that, it was slim pick­ings for the Kim­ber­ley, although Mr McGowan did an­nounce his Government was fund­ing a num­ber of re­gional in­cen­tives, in­clud­ing $70 mil­lion for im­prove­ments to re­gional roads and $1.2 mil­lion for ad­vanced warn­ing signs at in­ter­sec­tions on ru­ral roads.

The Government also com­mit­ted $1.5 mil­lion over three years for a ca­pa­bil­ity-build­ing pro­gram for Abo­rig­i­nal busi­nesses and $22.5 mil­lion towards the Re­gional Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Grants Scheme.

Shire of Broome pres­i­dent Harold Tracey said it was pleas­ing to see the Government was con­tin­u­ing to support on­go­ing projects.

“Com­mu­nity safety con­tin­ues to be a con­cern for peo­ple in Broome and so it is hoped that the an­nounce­ment of fund­ing for youth jus­tice ser­vices and early in­ter­ven­tion pro­grams for young of­fend­ers in the Kim­ber­ley can make a dif­fer­ence,” he said.

“The an­nounce­ment of a pro­gram of re­gional eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment grants may also be an op­por­tu­nity for se­cur­ing fund­ing for Broome, and as a coun­cil we’ll look closely at this once the de­tail of this pro­gram emerges.

“The an­nounce­ment of support for Abo­rig­i­nal busi­nesses is also wel­come. We’re also pleased that fund­ing re­mains for work on roads, in­clud­ing Cape Leveque Road, Bea­gle Bay Road and Great North­ern High­way.”

WA Po­lice Union pres­i­dent Ge­orge Til­bury said a $30 a week rent in­crease to Government Re­gional Of­fi­cer Hous­ing would put polic­ing ser­vices in ru­ral ar­eas at risk.

He said it was dis­ap­point­ing there were no pro­vi­sions in the Budget for ad­di­tional po­lice of­fi­cers and no al­lo­ca­tion for the com­pen­sa­tion scheme for med­i­cally re­tired po­lice of­fi­cers.

Mr McGowan said the Budget fo­cused on the things that mat­tered to peo­ple in the Kim­ber­ley — jobs, health, ed­u­ca­tion and com­mu­nity ser­vices.

“Our con­tin­u­ing in­vest­ment in the re­gional youth jus­tice ser­vices in the Kim­ber­ley will help to cre­ate bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties for young peo­ple in the Kim­ber­ley, while keep­ing communities safer,” he said.

Mem­ber for Kim­ber­ley Josie Far­rer and Premier Mark McGowan at the Port of Broome last year.

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