Western Australia 2023 – 24 State Budget 


On Thursday 11th May 2023, the Western Australian Premier and Treasurer delivered the 2023-24 WA State Budget. 

This is the McGowan Governments’ seventh annual budget which continues to deliver the Nation’s strongest economy, with a $4.2 billion operating surplus this financial year whilst still providing cost of living relief, support to the health system, a boost to housing and land supply and significantly progressing the transition to cleaner and affordable energy.

The WA Premier said he is proud to be able to offer Western Australians who might not otherwise be eligible for government support, cost of living assistance. In a similar tone to Tuesday night’s Federal Budget, McGowan said that this year’s budget reinforced the values of a (WA) Labor government.

A major focus in this year’s Budget is a $2.8 billion commitment to transition energy generation in the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) from coal to renewable power generation and massive energy storage.

The WA Economy

2022-23 financial year forecasts have the WA economy growing by 4.25 per cent, on the back of record exports before slowing in the 2023-24 financial year to 2.25 per cent.  Goods exports are at a record $272 billion, equating to 45 per cent of the national total.  

In line with global trends, WA has experienced inflationary pressure and higher interest rates resulting in moderate economic growth in 2023-24. 

The States unemployment rate has averaged 3.4 per cent, the lowest in over a decade. Wages continue to grow with forecasts of three to four per cent over the forward estimates. Income from commodities such as lithium, nickel and gold are tipped to continue to rise as exploration and production increase.

Source: WA State Budget 2023-24 official website

The State’s net debt is expected to decline for a fourth consecutive year to $27.9 billion, saving around $4.3 billion in interest payments, but is forecast to reach $35.9 billion in 2026-27.

Source: WA State Budget 2023-24 official website

To view the full 2023-24 WA State Budget Papers,click here.

For more information, please contact Emma Ramage, Western Australian Director on +61 430 811 929.

Diversifying the Economy, Future Jobs

$3.8 billion Investment in the jobs and industries of the future

  • $294 million of additional investment in road, port and electricity infrastructure that boosts the future economic capacity of our State.
  • $40 million Sustainable Geoscience Investments package to accelerate critical minerals discoveries, for minerals used in new battery technologies.
  • $35 million top-up of the Industrial Land Development Fund, prioritised towards planning and de-constraining initiatives to attract investment to Pilbara strategic industrial areas.
  • $28 million to support the State’s investment and trade initiatives, including establishing a new Invest and Trade WA Hub in Texas, USA.
  • $15 million of additional funding to attract major tourism initiatives and events.
  • $13 million to continue to attract international students back to Perth

Climate Change Initiatives

$3 billion to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, including $2.8 billion to decarbonise WA’s electricity grid and replace State-owned coal-fired power stations with renewables by 2030.

Key points:

  • $2.3 billion for Synergy to deliver a 500 MW Battery Energy Storage System in Collie, the largest in the State, and a second 200 MW Battery in Kwinana.
  • $368 million for Synergy to build a new wind farm at King Rocks and a proposed expansion of the Warradarge Wind Farm near Eneabba, with a combined wind capacity of up to 210 MW.
  • $126 million for early planning for network upgrades, including the ordering of long lead-time components, to support the fast-tracking of the Government and industry’s transition to net zero and facilitate the green energy boom.
  • $196 million towards Perth’s third desalination plant.

Cost of Living

WA’s strong budget position provides for support of $715 million towards cost-of-living relief measures as part of the 2023-24 State Budget.

  • All households will receive at least $400 energy bill relief.
  • Energy Assistance Payments of $826 are available for around 350,000 eligible households. 
  • Hardship Utilities Grant Scheme payments will be increased by 10 per cent with grants of up to $640 per household, or $1,060 for households in the north of the State.
  • An additional $20.7 million will be spent towards the Regional Airfare Zone Cap Scheme.
  • Increases to Government fees and charges limited to 2.4 per cent in 2023-24 – well below forecast inflation.

Health and Hospitals

Key points:

  • $841 million for hospital services, as well as $78 million for costs related to WA Health’s response to COVID-19.
  • $544 million over the next four years to commence construction of the new Women and Babies Hospital.
  • $150 million for the Bentley Health Service Surgicentre, co‑funded with the Commonwealth
  • $75 million to address emergency department pressures and ambulance ramping.
  • $28.5 million for workforce attraction and retention including paying up to $12,000 of HECS-HELP loans for 350 newly qualified nurses and midwives commencing employment in regional WA, with priority given to hard-to-staff sites, plus funding for wrap-around support for up to 1,200 graduates in our hospitals.
  • $99.4 million to complete Stage 1 of the electronic medical records rollout to modernise and future-proof our hospitals.
  • $58 million for ICT projects to improve access to specialist outpatient services through the implementation of the Smart Referrals electronic referral management system, as well as enhanced cyber security protection.

Mental Health

Key points:

  • $219 million is set aside for Stage 1 of the Graylands Hospital expansion, with 53 new forensic beds to be added. $82.6 million in additional spending has been committed for mental health hospital services.
  • $35.5 million to improve mental health outcomes for children and adolescents, and expand the Government’s response to the Infant, Child and Adolescent Taskforce report. 
  • $24.4 million to continue funding for the WACHS Mental Health Emergency Telehealth service. 

Education and Training

Key points:

  • $1.5 billion to deliver new and improved public education facilities across WA. 
  • $325.1 million for delivery of primary and secondary education, including increased support for students with a disability and eligible students with an additional language or dialect.
  • $227 million for new and upgraded school infrastructure:
  • $93.4 million for the training sector, including initiatives that support students in the regions to access training, women to enter apprenticeships in non-traditional fields and for Aboriginal people to gain employment.
    • $4.2 million for a $2,000 completion grant and a tool safety equipment rebate of up to $500 for construction apprentices.
    • $3.5 million for the expansion of the Heavy Vehicle Driving Operations Training Program to the Kimberley and Pilbara.
  • $38.6 million to improve the well-being of students through pastoral care services and student support strategies under the National Student Wellbeing Program. 


Key points: Social housing and Homelessness

  • $511 million boost for social housing and homelessness
    •  $450 million increase in funding to the Social Housing Investment Fund, which increases the total number of social houses to be added to 4,000.
    • $49 million for a pilot 100-home Regional Supportive Landlord Model.
    • Funding for the Office of Homelessness to support the delivery of the State’s first 10-year homelessness strategy.

Key points: Expanding construction sector workforce

  • $48 million in training initiatives to expand the residential construction workforce, which will accelerate the construction of the current pipeline of homes and expand capacity to deliver new housing supply to keep pace with the growing population.
  • This comprises:
    • Boosting the Base Employer Grant from $10,000 to $12,000 for apprentices.
    • Expanding the Group Training Wages subsidy to include residential and commercial construction sector apprentices.
    • A $2,000 training completion payment for apprentices.
    • Expediting approvals of occupational licensing.
    • Targeted $11 million visa subsidy scheme to attract more skilled migrants to the industry.
    • Key points: Expanding construction sector workforce 
    • $48 million in training initiatives to expand the residential construction workforce, which will accelerate construction of the current pipeline of homes and expand capacity to deliver new housing supply to keep pace with the growing population. 
    • This comprises: 
    • Boosting the Base Employer Grant from $10,000 to $12,000 for apprentices. 
    • Expanding the Group Training Wages subsidy to include residential and commercial construction sector apprentices. 
    • A $2,000 training completion payment for apprentices. 
    • Expediting approvals of occupational licensing. 
    • Targeted $11 million visa subsidy scheme to attract more skilled migrants to the industry. 
    • $61.6 million in additional funding for Government Regional Officer Housing to refurbish existing homes and add new supply, plus a further freeze on GROH rents to incentivise key public sector workers to work in regional WA. 
    • $55 million for upgrades to water infrastructure to unlock housing development in strategic sites across Perth.  
    • $48 million to facilitate remediation of the Bentley Residential Redevelopment project site that will provide a mixture of social and affordable housing.  
    • $33 million committed to extend the off-the-plan transfer duty rebate and lift the exemption threshold to $650,000 for a 100 per cent duty concession, tapering to a 50 per cent concession from $750,000. 
    • $12 million increase to the Regional Development Assistance Program to boost housing and land supply in regional WA.  

Supporting Women

Key points: Safety and Justice

  • $52.5 million for family and domestic violence services, including:
    • $16.3 million to establish a one-stop FDV hub in Broome.
    • $13.4 million to extend the operation of the Mirrabooka and Kalgoorlie FDV Hubs.
  • $18.9 million for community legal services and Legal Aid WA, to support access to legal services for people in need.

Key Points: Health and Wellbeing

  • $544 million to commence construction of the new Women and Babies Hospital.
  • $420 million investment in mental health services, including uplifts to community and hospital mental health services.
  • $15 million increase to the Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund, including upgrades to changerooms to ensure they are fit for women’s sports.
  • $2 million for the expansion of BreastScreen Australia.

Key Points: Economic Independence

  • $511 million in new social housing and homelessness investments.
  • $3 million for 400 scholarships for women to train in non-traditional trade and technical occupations.
  • $826 in electricity bill relief for women most in need who are already eligible for the Energy Assistance Payment.

Key Points: Leadership

  • $700,000 for the Rural, Regional and Remote Network to represent the voice of women across the State.

Aboriginal Wellbeing

Key points:

  •  $77 million in ongoing operational costs associated with the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act and funding for Local Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Services to better protect Aboriginal heritage sites and support engagement with Traditional Owners.
  • An additional $42.6 million over four years for the Essential and Municipal Services Upgrade for Aboriginal Remote Communities.
  • $31.1 million over four years to continue the Aboriginal Community Connectors Program.
  • $27.5 million for upgrades to the Wadjemup Burial Ground and repairs to the Quod building on Rottnest Island, including funding for consultation to develop a plan for the site.
  • $18.3 million grant for South West Aboriginal Medical Service Health Hub matching a funding commitment from the Commonwealth.
  • $11.8 million for initiatives forming part of the Kimberley Juvenile Justice Strategy, including continuing existing night patrols, and a Safe Space pilot in Broome.
  • $8.3 million for the operational costs and lifecycle maintenance for the Geraldton Aboriginal Short Stay Accommodation.
  • $6 million to establish the Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation Peak body; and to continue to support the Aboriginal Health Council of WA.
  • $5.8 million for a one-year extension of the Driving Access and Equity Program, improving access to job opportunities.
  • $5.8 million for additional Aboriginal Mental Health Workers (10 FTE) to support Aboriginal children and families to access and engage with Infant, Child and Adolescent mental health services.
  • $5.4 million to continue Psychiatric Services in the East Kimberley to support Aboriginal youth wellbeing.
  • $2.3 million to seal the Warmun airstrip to provide for all weather landing conditions and improve safety for aircraft.

Building Stronger, Fairer Communities

Key points:

  • $1.3 billion increase in State contributions to the National Disability Insurance Scheme
  • $125.5 million increase for child protection services for children at risk of harm and their families.
  • $54.6 million in additional support for initiatives that reduce the number of youth and vulnerable people coming into contact with the justice system, including extending the Target 120 and Kimberley Juvenile Justice Strategy programs for at-risk youth, and continuing the Aboriginal Community Connectors Program.
  • $52.5 million boost for family and domestic violence (FDV) initiatives, including funding for refuge and safe house service providers, and connecting victim-survivors with the services they need, through a new FDV Hub in Broome and extending the operation of the Mirrabooka and Kalgoorlie FDV Hubs.
  • $18.9 million to support legal services for people in need, including funding for Community Legal Centres and to support Legal Aid WA to attract private practitioners.

Community Safety

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Ellie response measures include:

  • $80 million for emergency road recovery works and to repair flood affected internal community and access roads.
  • $42 million for a Freight Assistance Package.
  • $33 million for a Temporary Accommodation Package.

Community safety additional measures to support frontline officers include:

  • $81.7 million to upgrade and maintain the State’s emergency radio network and equipment used by frontline officers – including police officers and firefighters.
  • $24.4 million to permanently appoint 29 dedicated disaster recovery officers to form WA’s largest ever recovery team to respond to this and any future disasters.
  • $11.7 million to extend Operation Regional Shield, maintaining additional police resourcing in communities hardest hit by youth crime.

Arts, Sport and Recreation

Key points:

  • $250 million for a new Asset Maintenance Fund to be allocated to the maintenance of State Government assets, including our cultural, sporting and entertainment venues and facilities 
  • $127.8 million to transform the State Hockey Centre into a world-class facility, 
  • An additional $97.9 million towards the Perth Concert Hall redevelopment to reinstate the venue as WA’s premium cultural precinct and provide the West Australian Symphony Orchestra 
  • $60 million for the construction of the High Wycombe Community Hub, jointly funded with the Commonwealth. 
  • $55 million State Government contribution towards the WACA’s Ground Improvement project, including construction of a new community aquatic facility.
  • $15 million increase to the Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund to boost community participation in sport and recreation through the development of sustainable and quality facilities at a local level.

Transport, Roads and Ports

Key points:

  • $250 million for procurement of electric buses and infrastructure
  • $195 million for the METRONET High-Capacity Signaling program 
  • $175 million to continue the Regional Road Safety Program for safety treatments on roads.
  • $136 million for essential projects that will increase port capacity and diversify exports. 

Investing in our Regions

Key points:

  • $342 million increase in spending on regional health and mental health initiatives, including the continuation of the Mental Health Emergency Telehealth Service and additional investment in WA Health’s regional workforce.
  • $32.6 million to protect the State’s livestock industries from increasing biosecurity threats, including emergency animal disease preparedness ($10.4 million) and an electronic identification (eID) system for sheep and goats ($22.2 million).
  • $31.3 million for the Buccaneer Archipelago Marine Parks.
  • $23.6 million to support survivors of family and domestic violence in the regions, including a new FDV Hub in Broome.
  • $20.2 million for Future Drought Fund programs to build farm and regional community resilience.

$6.5 million towards implementation of the Aquaculture Development Plan for Western Australia.

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