• Mark McGowan’s government has been granted a second term, but what will they do with it?

    Industry Insights by ECi Executive
    posted in Business News, Economy


Mark McGowan’s government has been granted a second term, but what will they do with it?

With the re-election of Premier Mark McGowan for a second term, the Treasury Department is expecting to see an increase of WA’s net debt to $3.1 billion.

The Premier and WA’s Labor has promised several projects to launch during his term. This includes the $361 million dollar health package and a $355 million program to build and upgrade school infrastructure.

The mental health project is expected to build 2 specialised emergency centres, in Rockingham and Armadale, an expansion of WA’s eating disorder treatment programs and initiatives to support the mental health of young people. A further $79 million will go towards combating methamphetamine use, which includes a 24-hour addiction service in Perth’s CBD and a 20-bed rehabilitation facility.

Two family domestic violence hubs will be established as well as an Aboriginal short-stay accommodation facility in Perth. Peel Health Campus in Mandurah is also expected to undergo redevelopment with a $152 million budget. A freeze on TAFE fees will be extended until at least 2025, and an additional 300 apprentices will be trained for work in small and medium businesses.

The public transportation system is set to evolve with an overhaul of the SmartRider System which allows people to tag on to buses, train or ferry using their smart phone or credit and debit cards. There will also be a fare capped at a maximum of $5.

New police stations will be built in Baldivis and Forrestfield, while 36 new career firefighters and 18 professional paramedics will be recruited and sent to regional WA.

$97 million will be spent on various tourism infrastructure upgrades across the state, including an Aboriginal Cultural Centre to be built on the banks of the Swan River. While $165 million is allocated to infrastructure grants.

The government will also build an underwater marine observatory along Busselton Jetty and a film studio and screen production facility at Victoria Quay in Fremantle.

While energy production was a large feature of this campaign cycle thanks to the Liberals’ controversial New Energy Jobs Plan, Labor’s commitments in that space are much more subdued.

The biggest ticket item is the provision of $218 million to provide more than 1,000 standalone power systems in regional WA, reducing reliance on diesel.

A $21 million expansion of WA’s electric vehicle network is on the books, as well as new e-waste recycling plant to support a ban on e-waste in landfill by 2024.

A $100 million fund will be established to attract new investment into WA projects, particularly local manufacturing and new technologies.

Under Labor’s $5.3 billion Metronet program, several passenger rail extensions will be built, laying 61 kilometres of new track. This includes rail line extensions to Yanchep, Ellenbrook and Byford, a new link between Thornlie and Cockburn stations and the removal of several level crossings.

Major upgrades to the Tonkin Highway and a further extension of the Mitchell Freeway, as well as a $852 million freeway bypass of Bunbury, are also set to get underway. The construction of Perth’s new $1.8 billion hospital for women and babies is slated to begin in 2023.

Despite the delay in timeframes, the 12 key targets outlined by Premier McGowan, it is expected to move forward in his second term. These include reducing the over-representation of Aboriginal people in custody by 23 per cent by 2029 and ensuring at least 75 per cent of waste generated in WA is reused or recycled by 2030.

The number of people employed in regional WA would increase by at least 30,000 by the next state election in 2025.

Labor also wants to have 85 per cent of Year 12 students completing two or more STEM courses by 2024.

In a crackdown on illicit drugs, Labor declared it would ensure the proportion of the population who had taken an illicit drug in the past 12 months would be reduced by 15 per cent by 2022.

During the election campaign, Mr. McGowan gave a glimpse into how he might achieve that, indicating an ongoing increased police presence at the WA border to prevent drug importation.

Finally, Mr. McGowan used his campaign launch this year to set a new target of delivering 125,000 jobs over the next five years.

Source: Link

Date Published: 15 March 2021

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