Economic Development

Diversifying the WA economy was a focus of the 2022-23 Budget, with $1.3 billion of additional funding announced for initiatives aimed at increasing jobs and supporting new industries; as well as helping those that were most affected by COVID-19.
The key initiatives to support economic diversification included:
  • An $80 million boost to the Investment Attraction Fund (to $180 million) to support investment attraction in new and emerging industries;
  • $69.5 million of additional support to the tourism sector to attract events, support marketing, and develop tourism experiences in national parks;
  • The Industrial Land Development Fund has been doubled to $100 million, to support strategically important industrial development projects;
  • An additional $41.2 million has been provided to support the continued recovery of the international education sector, through marketing and student incentives;
  • A further $25 million to boost Western Australia’s agriculture research capability and collaboration;
The Budget also contains significant investments in infrastructure aimed at supporting economic diversification and unlocking economic growth, including:
  • A $332 million upgrade to Geraldton Port;
  • $250 million for the Pinjarra Heavy Haulage Deviation project;
  • $78.1 million for infrastructure at Lumsden Point;
  • $52 million for the construction of a supply base to support oil and gas operations in the Browse Basin;
  • $50 million for upgrades to Great Northern Highway between Newman and Port Hedland; and
  • $36 million for the Mid West and Great Southern Secondary Freight Program.
Although the WA economy continued to record strong growth during the COVID-19 pandemic and has outperformed the rest of the nation, it is important that we retain an eye to the future and invest in areas that will support the growth and development of the WA economy over the long term.  
It is pleasing that the Government has used its sizeable surplus to invest in initiatives that will help to unlock new economic opportunities for Western Australia.
Many of the initiatives outlined in the budget take a collaborative approach with the Commonwealth Government, the private sector and academia.
Local Governments also play a key role in supporting economic development, and it will be important this role is also recognised and the sector is involved as these initiatives are rolled out.