The Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) says today’s 2022-2023 State Budget focuses on the right areas to address current pain points being felt throughout Western Australian communities, while also looking to address longer term economic and social development.

WALGA President, Cr Karen Chappel welcomed the delivery of a $5.7 billion surplus that has allowed the State Government to support health and mental health service delivery, invest in infrastructure and take climate action.

“Communities throughout Western Australia are feeling the effects of compromised service delivery through labour and material shortages and ongoing infrastructure demands, and WALGA is pleased that this Budget addresses this,” she said

“In particular, as the peak body for Local Governments in WA, WALGA welcomes State Government investment in regional health, mental health, telecommunications, remote communities and road infrastructure.

“Local Governments have increasingly been filling gaps in essential services and infrastructure for their communities.

There is no point having a healthy set of books if people in this State find it difficult to access social housing and medical services, or reliable mobile phone reception.”

Cr Chappel said investment in diversifying the economy, and funding for transforming the State’s road network and port infrastructure, were important longer-term initiatives to shore up the State’s future.

“Additional funding for the Climate Action Fund is also an important step to address the longer-term environmental challenges facing local communities throughout the State,” she said.

“Local Governments are leading the way in tackling environmental issues such as waste management, tree planting and coastal erosion.

“WALGA would have welcomed funding from the Climate Action Fund to support and extend grass roots environmental initiatives being delivered by Local Governments.

“Local Governments want to work in partnership with the State Government to support their communities and to ensure West Australians benefit from the State’s strong financial position.”