The Nationals in government will invest $100 million into delivering sustainable and affordable housing options for critical service workers, people requiring social housing and for head works to help unlock regional real estate development.
$11 million will immediately go towards affordable dwellings and $69 million will go towards re-establishing the Affordable Housing for Critical Workers in Regional WA Fund. The last $20 million will be spent on regional telecommunications, water and energy head works.
Having Vasse tourism businesses myself for the past 20 years, a lack of staff is a big issue and 2020/21 has been particularly difficult. I support a Designated Area Migration Agreements where local stakeholders determine the skill sets required in our industry, not some bureaucracy in Canberra.
I want funding reinstated for our airport. Once COVID-19 has been sorted, we need to pursue flights into Busselton from other locations around Australia, following Melbourne flights then focus on international flights direct into Busselton.
Funding the ambitious Australian Underwater Discovery Centre at Busselton Jetty.
The Nationals WA are also committed to developing a dedicated Royalties for Regions fund to facilitate investment in tourism infrastructure, to co-invest with local government and the tourism sector.
It is important to maintain our pristine beaches and oceans, have well managed forests, productive farms and great outback spaces. The Nationals WA support research to identify where rare and endangered flora and fauna exist on reserves or in areas of remnant vegetation on agricultural private property located within rural Shires, and will designate 'environmentally sensitive areas' if rare flora and fauna are found. We also believe compensating landowners who assist in protection rare flora and fauna in the interest of the State biodiversity requirements is fair.
The Nationals WA are committed to the removing barriers to regional development, and access to clean, safe and affordable water is essential. Wherever we go, the cost of water is a consistent issue for regional families, businesses and communities.
If elected to government in 2021, The Nationals WA will commission an independent inquiry to review Water Corporation's pricing framework for regional customers.
The water quality of the Lower Vasse River is in a critical state with a serious algal bloom threatening the already poor water quality, impacting important riparian habitat and posing very real health concerns.
When I came to Busselton 20 years ago the Lower Vasse River was beautiful, I have fond memories of taking my young children to enjoy the picturesque surrounds of the Lower Vasse River.
The environmental and health risks it now poses to the community should make it a priority for funding.
If elected to Government, we will commit $140 million to help meet the 2025 targets within the mental health plan. This is broken down into funding for mental telehealth and lifeline, community support hours, prevention through normalising mental health first aid and universal prevention, regional neighbourhood centres and independent placement for people who are renegotiating the workforce.
The Nationals WA believe in funding community programs to promote mental health and well-being, initiate early intervention strategies, and ensure there are affordable treatment options. These should be available to all people across WA with regional areas adequately resourced.
Youth mental health programs have shown success in educating young people on how to support others, as well as identifying those at risk through early intervention programs and then more targeted strategies.
We believe all students, regardless of where they live, should have access to a quality education. The Nationals WA value investing in improved education outcomes from child care level right through schooling to vocational and tertiary learning.
Affordable and quality education is a key driver to keeping families in and attracting new residents to regional WA. We know families gravitate towards communities with stable and well-resourced learning environments for their children, which is why we have invested heavily in improving school and childcare facilities, professional development and ensuring distance and remote learning are not abandoned.
The Nationals WA in government will invest in the regional education sector to allow students to grow and flourish and establish a strong foundation to pursue careers they choose.
$50 million of Royalties for Region funding would be made available for regional local governments, coast care and other community groups to fund programs and initiatives to help manage WA's fragile coastline.
The Nationals are committed to growing quality employment opportunities in Vasse. This is backed up with a range of policy initiatives that will generate regional jobs, including investing in telecommunications, regional health, education and training, affordable housing, ageing in place, agriculture and small business.
Busselton has also been identified as a focus of the $250 million Regional Capital Fund. This contestable fund will provide:
- Urban renewal projects to revitalise residential and commercial areas in need of transformation
- Investment and tourism infrastructure
- Supporting infrastructure and planning to create water sensitive cities; and
- Driving innovation and incubation to create space for start ups, problem solvers and new businesses to diversify the economy.