The State Government will invest in economic infrastructure in the state budget, in a bid to create jobs in Western Australia.
Investments will be made to support WA industry to create jobs while supporting new industries and helping grow local businesses, with around 50,000 jobs expected to be created over 2017-18 and 2018-19.
“My Government’s number one priority is WA jobs,” Premier Mark McGowan said.
“Since we came to office, around 30,000 Western Australians have found jobs. That is a positive start and we expect that number will continue to increase in coming months and years.”
“This Budget highlights our commitment to help continue the economic recovery, which will see business confidence grow and more jobs created.”
The government’s job creating infrastructure will including record funding for rail, through a major focus on METRONET with $3.6 billion invested in with projects to create thousands of jobs.
Projects included in the funding investment include $536 million for the Thornlie Line to Cockburn Station extension on the Mandurah line and $420 million extension to the northern suburbs rail line to Yanchep.
The Forrestfield-Airport Link will receive $515 million in the next financial year. The $1.9 billion link is on track to be completed in late 2020.
$50 million has been allocated to continue planning work on other key METRONET projects, including the Morley-Ellenbrook Line, Byford Rail Extension, Midland Station and new Karnup Station.
“A number of job-creating projects are underway or about to get underway, and serious work is happening, transport minister Rita Saffioti said.
“We’re building METRONET, just like we promised, to transform Perth’s public transport network and create thousands of jobs for Western Australians,” Mr McGowan said.
A $184 million social and housing package will also be introduced in conjunction with METRONET.
The estimated building of 1,390 new homes to integrate affordable housing with transport hubs is expected to create 2,350 jobs to support construction and redevelopment.
A total investment of $3.2 billion will also be devoted to road infrastructure to reduce congestion, improve safety and create jobs.
Across regional WA, the budget will guarantee $4 billion in Royalties for Regions funding, as a standalone fund with a $3.4 billion investment in job creating infrastructure.
“My government has guaranteed the future of Royalties for Regions by retaining a standalone fund,” Mr McGowan said.
“Our focus is to create jobs for people in regional Western Australia and turn our finances around.”
$22.5 million will be included for the Regional Economic Developments Grants program to drive economic development.
The government will also implement its WA Jobs Law to ensure government spending to ensure government spending creates opportunities for WA businesses and workers.
The state’s tourism and hospitality industry will be boosted to support local businesses and create jobs with $425 million invested in destination marketing and event tourism.
Diverse industries will also be targeted with a focus science, technology, manufacturing, education services and agriculture.
Investments will also be made into job-creating hospital upgrades, receiving an overall $37.5 million this year and an increase in funding of $275.8 million in the next five years.
Treasurer Ben Wyatt said the budget is a testament to strong employment growth.
“The economy is turning the corner and we will continue to invest in job-creating infrastructure to create more opportunities for Western Australians,” he said.
‘”Employment in Western Australia strengthened in 2017-18, and this Budget reinforces our plans as a government, to keep that momentum going.”