Community Services

Community Services

Primary health and mental health is a major focus of this year’s Budget.  

WALGA’s Budget Submission was seeking $5 million per year to assist with the costs incurred by rural and regional Local Governments to secure and support the delivery of essential primary health services for their communities.



The State Government prioritises investment in health and mental health services, with a $3.2 billion investment in the Western Australia’s health system, including $260 million on mental health and alcohol and other drug services.

In response to the critical need across regional WA, the State Budget allocates an additional $405.5 million for regional health services. Specific initiatives include:

  • $296.3 million over 2023-24 to 2027-28 for the WA Country Health Service;
  • $32.5 million to bolster the Patient Assisted Travel Scheme (PATS);
  • $14.6 million over 2024-25 to 2027-28 to continue the Kimberley Ambulance Service; and
  • $11.9 million in 2024-25 for the continuation of temporary nurse and midwife attraction and retention incentives for a further 12 months.

The budget also provides $96.4 million for family and domestic violence response, prevention and reform initiatives, informed by the work of the Family and Domestic Violence Taskforce.

Renew our Libraries 

No significant or additional funding has been allocated to the 232 public libraries run and managed by Councils. WALGA had advocated for $30 million over the forward estimates from 2024-25 to restore public library funding to 2012-13 levels.


WALGA Comment

While the announcement of increased investment in health and support services is welcome, overall funding falls short of what is required to address critical workforce shortages and gaps in primary health care across Western Australia.

The Budget did not provide any compensatory funding to Local Governments in recognition of their funding support of primary health service provision. System reform and further funding is needed to ensure equity of access for regional communities and reduce the financial impost on Local Governments to support essential healthcare services for which they are not responsible.

Public libraries play a vital role in communities, supporting literacy in young people, building capacity, promoting digital inclusion and providing a safe space and service connection for vulnerable people. Ensuring sustainable funding of public libraries to delivery service levels that meet community need is vital to enable the modernisation of public library services to meet the growing and diverse community needs. WALGA will continue to work with the Government on funding public libraries to a sustainable level.

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