WA resources sector benefits from State Government budget funding

Exploration and research for the State’s resources sector gets $36 million budget commitment
Date: Tuesday, 17 May 2016

The State Government has continued its commitment to the Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) with an allocation of $10 million a year for the next three years in the State Budget.

The EIS will be funded through the Royalties for Regions initiative from 2017/18.

The highly successful co-funded exploration drilling program, which accounts for about half of the funding, is a key component of the EIS program which encourages exploration in Western Australia, particularly in green-field mineral areas and frontier petroleum basins.

High quality geoscience information gathered under the EIS helps reduce the risk for explorers by providing high quality geoscience information. It also provides some shorter term stimulus for the exploration industry.

Western Australia’s magnetite industry has also received a two-year extension of the State Government’s royalty rebate program as part of the 2016-17 State Budget.

The extended program will offer royalty rebates of up to 50 per cent and is valued at $39.7 million over two years.

The WA's resources sector will benefit from a further $6 million over the next three years for research and administration allocated to the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia (MRIWA).

The new MRIWA funding comprises $3 million in 2016-17, $2 million in 2017-18 and $1 million in 2018-19.

The funding commitment recognises the great contribution the institute makes to the State’s resources sector.

Since the institute was established in February 2014, the State Government has committed $4.9 million to minerals research, mainly through funding research institutions in Western Australia.

MRIWA’s current portfolio includes 21 research projects, nine PhD scholarships and an Honours awards program valued at a total of $18.1 million, which includes joint funding with other parties.

The success of the program was recently confirmed through an independent review, whereby the aggregated benefit was estimated at $90.4 million.  This represents a significant return to the State Government, outweighing the entire funding cost of the program since 1990.

A snapshot of the 2016-17 State budget includes:

Securing Our Economic Future

  • Extra $50 million for Seizing the Opportunity Agriculture initiative
  • Additional $47 million over four years for tourism events, conferences and destination marketing
  • Extra $20 million over four years for an innovation package to strengthen, broaden and build the WA economy
  • Payroll tax-free threshold increases from $800,000 to $850,000 from July 1, 2016, benefiting more than 11,000 businesses

Meeting Demand While Efficiently Delivering Quality Services

  • $266 million (4.8%)  increase in 2016-17 for public hospital services
  • $81 million increase in education expenditure in 2016-17, providing a 3.3% increase in spending by schools
  • $67 million (5.1%) increase in spending on policing in 2016-17 to fulfil commitment to recruit 550 additional officers by end of 2016-17

Investing in Infrastructure to Support Our Growing State

  • $7.7 billion over next four years on transport infrastructure (34% of total infrastructure investment), including:
    • $1.9 billion Forrestfield-Airport Link, scheduled to begin operations in 2020
    • $1.5 billion towards Roe 8 and Fremantle Tunnel, due for completion in 2021-22
    • $427 million for the $1.9 billion MAX Light Rail project
    • $145 million for dual carriageway on Armadale Road
    • $49 million for Ellenbrook Bus Rapid Transit project
  • $1 billion over the forward estimates on school infrastructure.
  • $1.2 billion Perth Children's Hospital due to open in late 2016

For more information about the State budget please see the infographic.