Regional

Premier Mark McGowan unveils plan to keep the Agricultural Region strong

Posted on January 29, 2021
  • Re-elected McGowan Labor Government’s major package of job-creating initiatives 
  • Plan to create jobs and training opportunities and support vital services like schools and hospitals
  • Full Plan for the Agricultural Region available at www.markmcgowan.com.au 

Premier Mark McGowan has unveiled the Plan for the Agricultural Region, a re-elected McGowan Labor Government’s comprehensive package to keep the Agricultural Region strong by creating jobs and training opportunities, supporting the local economy and investing in important services like health and education. 

Over the past four years, the McGowan Labor Government has invested more funding into regional WA than any other government in history. The McGowan Government guaranteed the future of Royalties for Regions, as promised, but also significantly increased funding for the regions across all areas of government.

The Plan for the Agricultural Region will see that investment continue, through commitments in schools, TAFE, roads, hospitals and community facilities. 

The McGowan Labor Government has made TAFE a priority. As part of the highly successful Lower Fees, Local Skills initiative, TAFE fees have been slashed by up to 72 per cent, so more people can get quality training.

A re-elected McGowan Labor Government will continue the strong investment in TAFE and measures that create better career pathways for young Western Australians by:

  • upgrading equipment across the State’s TAFEs giving students access to more industry standard and state of the art equipment, including x-ray technology for agriculture, 3D printers, drones and more; and
  • ensuring local flexibility for schools to negotiate the most suitable courses and delivery arrangements with their local TAFE colleges and local industries.

A re-elected McGowan Labor Government will continue its strong investment in quality education in the Agricultural Region. The Plan for the Agricultural Region includes:

  • $5.8 million for new STEM classrooms at Northam, Esperance and Narrogin senior high schools, and at Merredin College; and classrooms transformed into STEM classrooms at Central Midlands and Katanning;
  • $2 million to transform existing classrooms into high school science classrooms at Bruce Rock, Kellerberrin, Mukinbudin, Narembeen and Quairading district high schools;
  • Primary school science classrooms and equipment at Gingin, Wongan Hills, Boddington, Dongara, Toodyay and Wagin district high schools, and at Merredin College; and
  • Transformed science classrooms for primary and secondary students at Beverley, Brookton, Cunderdin, York, Dalwallinu, Jurien Bay, Northampton, Gnowangerup and Kojonup district high schools.

The McGowan Labor Government is committed to ensuring Western Australians have access to high quality healthcare, regardless of where they live. The Plan for the Agricultural Region includes:

  • continued investment in the Patient Assisted Travel Scheme (PATS), increasing the accommodation subsidy to $100 per night, and increasing escort eligibility for people from vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, including women travelling to give birth; and
  • expanding the Community Paramedic model across the State, including in the Agricultural Region.    

To ensure Agricultural Region residents are better supported to travel to other parts of the State for leisure, to visit family or for medical reasons, a re-elected McGowan Labor Government will invest $19.8 million across the State to make travel for regional residents more affordable.

After delivering a record investment in regional roads in its first term of government, a re-elected McGowan Labor Government will oversee another significant investment into regional roads, including:

  • a further $52 million investment into the now $507 million Regional Road Safety Program to invest in repairing, rebuilding and road safety treatments on tens of thousands of kilometres of country roads;
  • an additional $14.8 million across the State towards the $251.8 million Regional Roads Upgrades program; and
  • $5 million to increase the number of Truck Rest Stops on our major roads. 

As part of the McGowan Government’s record $28.8 billion pipeline of work, a number of major infrastructure projects are underway across the Agricultural Region. The WA Buy Local policy will ensure these projects will deliver ongoing jobs for locals over the next few years. 

Major projects funded or underway include the $375 million Great Northern Highway Muchea to Wubin Stage 2 upgrades, the $275 million Bindoon Bypass, the $8 million investment in new workshops, classrooms and specialist facilities at Northam’s Muresk Institute, the $2 million Central Regional TAFE Northam campus workshop upgrades, the $11 million State Barrier Fence Esperance extension, the $16.6 million new Esperance power station and the $10.2 million Esperance port upgrades.

The Plan for the Agricultural Region includes a number of additional commitments to ensure the Agricultural Region remains strong, long into the future. To read the full plan, visit www.markmcgowan.com.au.

Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:

“A re-elected WA Labor Government will keep the Agricultural Region strong. 

“Creating jobs and training opportunities for Western Australians will always be my number one priority, and the Plan for the Agricultural Region will ensure our major investment into the regional will continue. 

“My government has invested more funding into regional WA than any government in history, and has delivered upgrades to schools, TAFEs, hospitals, roads and tourism.

“Our strong budget management and Plan for the Agricultural Region will ensure the region’s future is stronger than ever.”

Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:

“Our government has worked hard to deliver for the Agricultural Region: we’re driving local jobs, economic diversification and quality local services.

“The Plan for the Agricultural Region continues that effort, bringing new investment into schools, roads, health and infrastructure across the Mid-West, Wheatbelt, Great Southern and Esperance regions.”

Comments attributed to WA Labor Candidate for Roe Brad Willis:

“A re-elected McGowan Labor Government will deliver for communities right across Roe, with a heavy investment into transforming local schools in our area – giving local kids access to the best quality facilities and education.”

Comments attributed to WA Labor Candidate for Central Wheatbelt Michelle Nelson:

“The Plan for the Agricultural Region builds on the McGowan Government’s investment into our region, delivering jobs for locals, a strong economy, top-quality health and education, and a bright future for our community.”

Comments attributed to WA Labor Candidate for Moore Barni Norton:

“Mark McGowan kept WA safe and strong during the pandemic, and our Plan for the Agricultural Region will continue that effort, supporting local jobs, local schools and local health services.”