Budget windfall for Kimberley

Staff reportersBroome Advertiser

The McGowan Government will divert hundreds of millions of dollars into Kimberley projects, including $239 million for capital works.

The State Budget windfall boasts $20 million for infrastructure upgrades at Broome Senior High School.

The upgrade will involve a new building, car park facilities and a student pick-up area with work to start in 2018.

Broome Senior High School principal Saeed Amin welcomed the announcement and said it was a “delivery of an election promise” that would make a big change to the school and community.

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“This is a fantastic result, honouring a commitment,” he said.

“It’s about providing an improved environment for 1200 students for the next five years as we continue to expand.”

Mr Amin said infrastructure works would be phase one in the education department’s $60 million master plan to upgrade the remaining parts of the school.

Premier Mark McGowan also came good on a multi-million dollar pre-election pledge to improve Broome’s boating facilities.

As part of the Government’s focus on boosting regional tourism, $9.7 million will be pumped into improving facilities at Entrance Point and Town Beach.

Broome Fishing Club president Shane Mitchell said the funding could be a “holy grail” for the Broome fishing and boating community.

“This could be massive for Broome, we’ve been trying to get funding for safe boating and perhaps a marina,” he said.

“There have been problems with cars getting bogged, vehicle maintenance and issues launching boats off the beach.

“There are a number of people that don’t come to Broome because there aren’t proper boat launching facilities, like those from Karratha.

“It’s been a long time coming, there have been a lot of people on this for a long time—we thought it would never happen. to get a marina here would be like the holy grail, it would be huge.”

But the announcement did not impress Broome recreational fisherman Rob “Bulldog” Locke.

“It’s not enough and it won’t make any difference in terms of safely launching and retrieving boats in Broome.

“Ten million dollars will not get you safe boat launching…we will end up with a sandstone, not granite, groin that will wash away in a few years.”

The McGowan government’s WA-wide meth action plan includes $200,000 to commence planning towards establishing an alcohol and other drug residential rehabilitation centre in the Kimberley.

Other projects include $1 million towards planning for a new boat harbour in Broome, $1 million for a 12- month trial of subsidised twice-weekly for air travel between Perth and Derby; $27.9 million to showcase regional destinations; $14 million for new swimming pools at Balgo and Kalumburu; $40 million to complete investment in regional telecommunications; $590,000 for a water playground in Kununurra; $18.2 million to build the Aboriginal short stay accommodation in Broome; $20 million over five years towards the indigenous ranger program.

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