Gingin fire station to be replaced

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Twenty million will be spent upgrading Indian Ocean Dr, according to the State Budget.

GINGIN fire station will be replaced and $20 million will be spent upgrading Indian Ocean Dr, according to State Budget information.

The McGowan Government said $8m would be spent to replace ageing volunteer fire stations in regional locations such as Gingin, Margaret River, Northampton and Halls Creek.

The government said it intended to invest $22.5m in community-led projects to drive job creation and economic growth in regional WA.

More than $550,000 would be made available annually in each of the nine regions to stimulate economic activity at a local level through regional economic development grants.

Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said driving economic growth and jobs in regional WA required a tapestry of projects from multimillion dollar strategic infrastructure to small, community-led initiatives.

“The regional economic development (RED) grants scheme will support projects that make a real contribution to local communities, with a quick lead time to spark immediate economic activity in each region.

“RED grants are a critical part of the government’s commitment to using Royalties for Regions to drive jobs and economic development on the ground in the regions,’’ she said.

Premier Mark McGowan said the government was creating jobs for people in the South West and turning the state’s finances around.

“The State Budget strikes the right balance between fixing the mess of the Liberal National Government, while focusing on the things that matter to people in the South West – jobs, health, education and community services,’’ he said.

But Opposition leader Mike Nahan said the government was manipulating the Royalties for Regions program.

“This government is sneakily shifting the cost of government services that are normally met by consolidated revenue into Royalties for Regions,’’ he said.

“By the end of the forward estimates, Royalties for Regions will have been gutted by 40 per cent.”

Ms MacTiernan said other election commitments for regional areas included $18.5m for the regional enforcement unit to increase traffic enforcement on country roads, $39.7m to boost tourism funding to showcase regional destinations, putting education assistants and Aboriginal and Islander education officers back into regional classrooms, funding to put independent learning coordinators in 10 regional schools will assist students undertaking courses through the School of Isolated and Distance Education, $1.6mn for the find cancer early program in regional areas, $6.8m for the renal dialysis program, $182.3 million for the patient assisted travel scheme to support regional Western Australians when they need to travel for medical treatment, $136m for the country age pension fuel card and $4m for the volunteer fuel card, $37 million for community resource centres across regional Western Australia and $24.8m for the natural resources management program.