Kimberley region set to benefit as first State Government budget fulfils majority of election commitments

Sam JonesBroome Advertiser
Mark McGowan with Broome's Athena Perasich, Kimberley MLA Divina D'Anna and Mining and Pastoral MLC Rosetta Sahanna during the Premier's visit to Broome.
Camera IconMark McGowan with Broome's Athena Perasich, Kimberley MLA Divina D'Anna and Mining and Pastoral MLC Rosetta Sahanna during the Premier's visit to Broome.

The State Government has announced funding for almost all of their Kimberley specific re-election commitments in its first budget since March’s State Election landslide.

The Kimberley will benefit from a $1.9 billion boost to health and mental health funding, including $2.8 million over four years to establish women’s community health services and a share of $17.6m towards social and emotional mental health services for Aboriginal people in regional WA.

Some $36.3m will be set aside for the construction of a new Broome boating facility, while $4.5m will be allocated to provide facilities and upgrade roads to meet visitor demand and environmental management in Yawuru conservation parks.

In the Fitzroy Valley $1.75m will be injected into a new boat docking station for visitors of the Danggu Geike Gorge boat cruise.

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The first long distance trek in the Kimberley, the Kimberley Wilderness Walk in Wunaamin Miliwundi Ranges, will be developed with $850,000 allocated to the project.

The Kimberley will also benefit from a $4.4m investment into the Northern Native Seed Development initiative.

In education, the award-winning Better Beginnings program will be extended to the Kimberley, while Broome Senior High School will receive $4.4m for upgrades to the canteen and STEM facilities.

Halls Creek Senior High School will receive $10m for new classroom blocks and a new food and textiles classroom, while $3.7m will be put towards the solar schools initiative, including the installation of solar panels on 18 schools across the Kimberley.

Roads around the region are set to benefit from a number of investments including; $98m set aside for upgrades to Great Northern Highway at the Ord River, $780,000 for a left turning lane on Frederick Street in Broome and upgrades to the carpark.

Sports facilities around the region will also see significant cash injections, with the covered multi-use courts in Fitzroy Crossing set to receive $4m for upgrades, the Kununurra Leisure Centre Redevelopment receiving $6m and the Halls Creek town development receiving $3.5m.

Mowanjum community will receive $300,000 for new change rooms, while Warmun community will get $2.35m for upgrades to basketball courts, multi-sport fields and lighting.

$20 million will also be spent providing Aboriginal Short Stay Accommodation in Kununurra.

An Aboriginal-led specialist Family Violence Court will be established in Broome after $5.6m in funding was allocated to the project.

The Aboriginal Community Connectors program will continue in Broome, Derby, Kununurra, Wyndham and Halls Creek after receiving $14 million.

Kimberley MLA Divina D’Anna said she was proud to deliver on commitments made prior to election.

“Whether it’s the expansion of the eligibility to access PATS, improving our roads or upgrading our schools, every community in the Kimberley will benefit from today’s budget,” she said.

WA Premier Mark McGowan said the budget would keep the regional economy growing while delivering on election commitments.

“Our WA Jobs Plan preferences Western Australians for local jobs first, as we work to diversify the regional economy in the Kimberley, attract investment and build a skilled workforce for the future,” he said.

The funding announcements leave very few election commitments unfulfilled with $36m in upgrades for the Gibb River Road, $20.9m in upgrades to Derby District High School and $24.1m for a renal dialysis centre in Halls Creek some of the major commitments outstanding.

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