WA Labor outlines commitment to the Pilbara

Date:  23 January 2013

WA Labor will deliver real investment in schools, health and community facilities in the Pilbara if it wins the March 9 State election.


WA Labor Leader Mark McGowan said under a McGowan Government, the Pilbara will have a far stronger voice in Government, with the Premier taking responsibility for Regional Development in WA and the reappointment of a Minister for the Pilbara region.

"WA Labor will establish a Pilbara Redevelopment Authority to address bottlenecks in land release in towns in the Pilbara," Mr McGowan said.

"Affordable housing is one of the biggest problems in the Pilbara, with the Barnett-Grylls Government failing to deliver the new housing lots required or adequately plan for the Pilbara's future housing needs.

"WA Labor will use Royalties for Regions funding to tackle housing shortages, especially where affordability is a major problem.

"We will build better schools that lead the nation, throughout regional Western Australia.

"The Barnett-Grylls Government has prioritised Perth inner city projects instead of investing in education facilities for the Pilbara.

"WA Labor is committed to ensuring that every child has a quality education, wherever they live."

WA Labor will:

  • Allocate $9million to help Pilbara and other regional students to be able to study a full range of subject choices;
  • Invest $6.5million from Royalties for Regions in Karratha Senior High School;
  • Invest $2.9million in Hedland Senior High School; and
  • Invest $14million in the South Hedland and Karratha Campuses of the Pilbara Institute.

Mr McGowan said WA Labor would also provide $50million for the sealing of the road between Newman and Nullagine.

"Under the Barnett-Grylls Government we have seen a steady decline in funding for capital works on regional State roads.

"WA Labor is committed to investing in regional roads to make them safer."

Mr McGowan said WA Labor would focus on priorities of people living in the Pilbara, investing in community facilities including:

  • $2million for the establishment of a permanent motocross track in Hedland;
  • $5 million for the expansion of Lotteries House in South Hedland;
  • $7million to the Shire of East Pilbara to build a multifunction community, sport and cyclone emergency centre in Nullagine;
  • $1million to establish a Roebourne Art Group Art Centre based in Roebourne;
  • Allocate $80,000 for the purchase of a new school bus for the Jigalong community;
  • Allocate $20,000 for a skate park in Marble Bar;
  • Allocate $20,000 for a skate park in Roebourne; and
  • Allocate $15,000 for a trailer for the weekly rubbish collection for the Kiwirrkurra community.

"These facilities will benefit the whole community and encourage participation in a range of sporting, family and community activities," he said.

WA Labor would also:

  • Bring forward the commencement of the Karratha Health Campus to 2013/14;
  • Invest $54million to rebuild the Newman Hospital, increasing beds from 12 to 25 and boosting maternity and mental health services; and
  • Fund an extra $3million for the Patients Assistance Travel Scheme (PATS) to help Pilbara residents travelling for medical treatment.

Candidate for Pilbara Kelly Howlett welcomed Mr McGowan's announcements.

"These announcements will make a real difference to people in the Pilbara," Ms Howlett said.

"The Barnett-Grylls Government has had its chance to tackle affordable housing in the Pilbara and failed.

"It had its chance to improve health services and invest in our schools and instead focused on big extravagant projects in the Perth CBD.

"The Barnett-Grylls Government prioritised inner-city projects at the expense of services such as health, education, roads and community facilities in the Pilbara.

"Only the election of a McGowan Labor Government will ensure these issues are addressed.

"WA Labor will ensure young Pilbara people have access to apprenticeships and traineeships on all big Royalties for Regions building projects and support local business by enforcing the Buy Local policy.

"WA Labor has better priorities for a better future."

Mr McGowan said in addition to today's announcements, WA Labor would make a series of further announcements for the Pilbara in the areas of law and order, cost of living, health, education, the environment and jobs ahead of the State election.

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