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SW budget winner: Kierath

THE South West will receive a major boost under the budget, according to Minister Assisting the Treasurer Graham Kierath.

South West business and community leaders recently attended a breakfast briefing at which Mr Kierath commented on how the State budget would affect the region.

Mr Kierath said it was important for regional areas to understand how the budget impacted on them.

“It is vital that the leaders in regional areas are in the position to report to their communities on what the budget means to them,” he said.

“The South West is WA’s fastest growing area and the level of funding that has been included in the budget is vital to ensure that expansion is not impeded.”

Initiatives included in the budget include $224,000 to be spent on the Bunbury Agriculture WA centre.

Agriculture WA will spend $1.1 million on dairy programs in the region, $40,000 for the evaluation and development of a green tea industry and $3.2 million for improved land and water management systems in the Blackwood catchment.

Fisheries WA will spend $715,000 in the region on commercial and recreational compliance programs, fish and fish habitat protection, fisheries and aquaculture management and education.

Main Roads has received $17.3 million to improve roads and bridges in the region.

Bunbury’s Back Beach coastal enhancement program has been allocated a further $4.1 million in an ongoing $7.4 million program, although local opposition to the project remains intense.

The Ministry of Housing has allocated $10 million for housing construction, $22.7 million in housing loan assistance and $5.4 million for land development.

The Department of Land Administration will be allocated funds for land development and sale at Gracetown, Donnybrook, Walpole, Pemberton, Margaret River and Manjimup.

The Water Corporation will spend $32 million on the Harvey Dam replacement and $15 million will go to the Harris to Stirling Dam pumpback.

Busselton has been allocated $3.8 million, Bunbury will get $3 million, Walpole $1.1 million and Margaret River, $800,000.

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