State Budget 2020-21: Competitiveness


ROYALTIES, TAXES & CHARGES  

CME is pleased to see there has been no changes to the following over the forward estimates:  

  • Royalty rates.  
  • Building and Construction Industry Training Fund and Levy rate.  
  • Mines Safety and Inspection Levy rate – Continued reduction from 20 to 17 cents per billable hour.  
  • Payroll tax – Continued exemption from payroll tax on payments provided under the JobKeeper scheme until 28 March 2021.  

ENVIRONMENT  

  • Environment Online initiative and Biodiversity Information Office – $29 million for infrastructure, digital architecture, common data standards and policies. This is inclusive of Australian Government contributions. 
  • Resourcing – An increase from 58 to 95 FTE staff to support Environmental Impact Assessment services to the Environmental Protection Agency.  
  • Environmental assessments – Additional $1.7 million over three years for environmental assessment of State significant proposals.  
  • Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute – Additional $3.4 million to extend funding to 2022-23.  
  • Plan for Our Parks – Additional $23.6 million for implementation, increasing the State’s conservation estate by 20 per cent over the next five years.  
  • Waste – $35 million to support local processing to recycle waste materials such as glass, paper, plastic, tyres impacted by the Council of Australian Governments’ waste export bans.  

The following environment related programmes are detailed in the Budget but are cost-recovered or funded from proponent contributions:  

  • Pilbara Environmental Offsets Fund – Additional $2 million of industry contributions included in 2020-21.  
  • Mining Rehabilitation Fund – Additional $36 million of industry contributions included in 2020-21, to add to the $185 million already contributed to date.  
  • Waste Avoidance and Resource Recovery Account – Additional $22 million of proponent contributions in 2020-21.  
  • Noise Regulation – An additional $717,000 to 2022-23, funded by industry, to support assessments and reporting of applications under the Environmental Protection (Noise) Regulations 1997.  
  • Port Hedland Dust Program – An additional $2 million of industry-funded expenditure to continue implementation and monitoring of air quality.  

ENERGY & EMISSIONS  

  • Clean Energy Future Fund – A further $10 million towards investing in clean energy technologies in 2021.  
  • Energy Policy WA – An additional $2.9 million to improve governance of the WA energy sector.   
  • North West Interconnected System – An additional $1 million to implement and administer the light-handed access regime in the Pilbara.  
  • LNG bunkering hub – $7.6 million in concessional port fees for LNG ships refuelling in the Pilbara to support vessels to reduce emissions.   
  • Renewable Hydrogen Fund – An additional $5 million in grant funding will be allocated to support industry development.  
  • Dampier Cargo Wharf – $35.5 million for road relocation, detailed design and upgrades to sea water supply infrastructure to establish an ammonia-based industry as a critical input to produce renewable hydrogen.  

As part of the 2020-21 Federal Budget on 6 October 2020, an initial $15 million for the Big Battery project to stabilise the South West Interconnected System was secured. The WA Government will make a decision on the project later this year, and if feasible, a contract awarded by May 2021.  

LAND ACCESS & EXPLORATION   

  • Murujuga Rock Art – An additional $1.4 million to support a World Heritage nomination for the National Park.   
  • Exploration Incentive Scheme – An additional $5 million in 2020-21 and $3.2 million for a new iron microprobe for Curtin University.   
  • Pastoral Land Reform – $3.8 million to progress current reform package.  
  • Joe Lord Core Library – $7 million to expand the facility’s capacity to store core samples, containing valuable geoscientific information for exploration.   

PRODUCTIVE INFRASTRUCTURE  

CME is pleased to see continued investment in economic infrastructure, supporting medium to longer-term productivity of the WA economy. Some of the latest funding injection by the WA Government will go to projects such as:  

  • Westport – $97.2 million to a new Westport Project Office to progress the recommended options, including business case development and liaison with other agencies for strategic advice.   
  • Esperance Port – $10.2 million towards expansion and safety.  
  • Geraldton Port – $10 million for Wharf 4 Strengthening and Rail Replacement project which will provide for long-term growth in mineral sands exports.  
  • Pilbara Ports Authority – $20 million to upgrade retaining sea walls in the Inner Harbour and $51.2 million to upgrade Nelson Point Tug Haven.  
  • Port Hedland Airport Deviation – $17.8 million (total $36 million committed by the WA and Australian Government)   
  • Bunbury Port – $15.5 million to expand the Inner Harbour access road and bridge, $3 million to upgrade a second road hopper, electrical and fire systems assets and another $3.8 million for a feasibility study to upgrade and build new infrastructure to improve the Greenbushes lithium supply chain.  
  • Port Hedland Airport Deviation – $17.8 million for Great Northern Highway (total $36 million committed by the WA and Australian Government).   
  • Coolgardie-Esperance Highway – $10.4 million to upgrade Emu Rocks (total $52 million committed by the WA and Australian Government)   
  • Freight Vehicle Productivity Improvements Program – $10 million (total $50 million committed by the WA and Australian Government).   
  • Goldfields Highway – $4 million to construct and seal priority sections from Wiluna to Meekatharra (total $20 million committed by the WA and Australian Government).  
  • Great Northern Highway – $5.2 million to upgrade Broome to Kununurra corridor and $7.8 million for Ord River North Section Stage 3 corridor (total $64.8 million committed by the WA and Australian Government).   
  • Tanami Road – $8.55 million to upgrade Alice Springs to Halls Creek corridor (total $42.75 million committed by the WA and Australian Government).   
  • Boodarie Strategic Industrial Area – $10.5 million to upgrade the entrance road.  
  • Kemerton Strategic Industrial Area – $7.5 million for water works to allow businesses to connect to potable water.  

As part of the 2020-21 Federal Budget on 6 October 2020, additional funding from the Australian Government has been allocated to upgrade the Karratha to Tom Price corridor ($56 million) and Wheatbelt Secondary Freight Network ($80 million). Majority of the above road announcements have a 20:80 funding split between the WA and Australian Government.  

OTHER SPENDING MEASURES  

  • Regional Land Booster Packages – $116 million to make lots more affordable, including industrial estate lots in Broome, Collie, Karratha, Kununurra, Pinjarra and Hedland.   
  • Security of Payment Bill – $2.9 million to implement compliance and enforcement reforms contained in the Building and Construction  Industry (Security of Payment) Bill 2020 in 2021-22.   
  • Advanced Manufacturing Hub – $485k towards a feasibility study in the South West.  
  • Local government – $2.3 million to help 20 local governments identify opportunities to reform approval processes.  
  • State Road Funds to Local Government Agreement – Reduced by $34.4 million due to forecast decrease in motor vehicle licence revenue.