Budget ignores Vasse: MP

WA first: Mick Murray, Don Punch, and Simone McGurk visited Bunbury on Friday, May 11 for the State Budget announcement. Photo: Thomas Munday.
WA first: Mick Murray, Don Punch, and Simone McGurk visited Bunbury on Friday, May 11 for the State Budget announcement. Photo: Thomas Munday.

Despite the state government investing in education, health and road safety for the South West in the 2018/19 budget, the Vasse electorate has missed out on major funding according to its local MP.

Instead, much of the South West projects were Bunbury-based – including the state government’s Juvenile Justice, Early Intervention program trial and $9.3 million for an additional 33 beds in a drug and alcohol rehab centre.

On top of the rehab centre funding, $13.4 million will cover the completion and operation of Bunbury’s sub-acute mental health facility in 2018/19. 

In last year's state budget $42.5 million was allocated for a rehab centre in the South West. 

Vasse MLA Libby Mettam said the McGowan government had broken an election promise by not delivering a stand alone drug and alcohol centre in the South West.

“What we do want to see, when there is some support with private facilities, is this is ensured for the whole region and South West and isn’t just focused in Bunbury,” she said.

Libby Mettam.

Libby Mettam.

Following the federal government’s $560 million proposal for the Bunbury Outer Ring Road, the state government announced it would provide $106.3 million for the project. 

The dualling of Bussell Highway between Capel and Busselton missed out.

Ms Mettam said the region had been ignored in the funding of major roads.

“I was very hopeful that stage one would be funded in the 2018/19 Budget considering this has been named again in the top ten of the state’s most dangerous roads,” she said.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti told the Mail the state government would continue to work to try and secure funds from the federal government for this project.

One of the other key South West projects to receive funding was the proposed Capel Police Station.

The state government has pledged $8 million to the project. 

Despite this, Ms Mettam said regional policing had been hit hard in the budget.

“Whilst they have invested in bricks and mortar in regards to Capel Police Station, they would be much better off seeing that investment in police on the beat, out there looking after our roads and having a presence in the community,” she said.

Ms Mettam said the budget didn’t address many of her outstanding concerns for the Vasse electorate. 

These include Canal Rocks boat ramp and the Busselton Margaret River Airport project.

She said she was glad to see the investment in Cape Naturaliste College remained but was disappointed Dunsborough Primary School, West Busselton Primary School and Vasse Primary School were left out.