McGowan visits the Pilbara
On a visit this week to the Pilbara as leader of the state opposition, Mark McGowan was accompanied by Port Hedland Labor hopeful Kelly Howlett.
He was here to point out the $85.3million in funding that has been removed by the state government from the Pilbara, following the 2012/12 state budget.
Mr McGowan said the mid-year review projected $221million would be spent on projects in the region, however the 2012/13 Budget revealed this figure had been reduced to $135.7 million.
“This represents a funding cut of close to 40 per cent from various projects in the region, including the new Karratha Hospital,” Mr McGowan said.
“At the same time the Barnett Government’s future fund will divert away $1billion of Royalties for Regions money.”
Pilbara projects that had funding cut or deferred included:
Karratha Health Campus, $15million; Pilbara Health Partnership, (Operating) $7.1million; Pilbara Cities Strategic Infrastructure (Asset Investment), $26.6million; Pilbara Cities Community Projects (operating), $24.9million – formerly Pilbara Reviltalisation Phase 2.
“The Barnett Government should explain why it deferred funding from these projects,” Mr McGowan said.
“It must also identify where these cuts are coming from and how this will impact on these projects.
“WA Labor will ensure Pilbara families have access to quality services in health, dental care and education,” Mr McGowan said.
“We will work with the community to ensure economic sustainability into the future and will address issues including affordable housing and current blockages in the release of land.
“Infrastructure is critical to the future of the regions and WA Labor is committed to ensuring Royalties for Regions delivers on key infrastructure projects and country roads remain a priority.
“A WA Labor Government will show greater leadership in this area by requiring all government building projects over a to-be-defined value to employ apprentices.”
Mr McGowan said Labor would release a comprehensive policy in coming months that contained details of these plans and other Royalties for Regions priorities.