Premier Mark McGowan unveils plan to keep North West Central strong

Posted on January 25, 2021
  • Re-elected McGowan Labor Government’s major package of job-creating initiatives 
  • Plan to create jobs and training opportunities and support vital services like schools and hospitals
  • Full Plan for North West Central available at 

Premier Mark McGowan has unveiled the Plan for North West Central, a re-elected McGowan Labor Government’s comprehensive package to keep North West Central strong by creating jobs and training opportunities, supporting the local economy and investing in important services like health and education. 

Over the past four years, the McGowan Labor Government has invested more funding into regional WA than any other government in history. The McGowan Government guaranteed the future of Royalties for Regions, as promised, but also significantly increased funding for the regions across all areas of government.

The Plan for North West Central will see that investment continue, through commitments in schools, TAFE, roads, hospitals and community facilities. 

The Plan for North West Central will continue the McGowan Labor Government’s strong investment in job creating projects to drive tourism, including:

  • $4.5 million to repair the first 430m of the Carnarvon One Mile Jetty; and
  • $10 million for road and camping infrastructure at Mount Augustus.

To ensure North West Central residents are better supported to travel to other parts of the State for leisure, to visit family or for medical reasons, a re-elected McGowan Labor Government will invest $19.8 million across the State to make travel for regional residents more affordable.

The McGowan Labor Government has made TAFE a priority. As part of the highly successful Lower Fees, Local Skills initiative, TAFE fees have been slashed by up to 72 per cent, so more people can get quality training.

A re-elected McGowan Labor Government will continue the strong investment in TAFE and measures that create better career pathways for young Western Australians by:

  • upgrading equipment across the State’s TAFEs giving students access to more industry standard and state of the art equipment, including x-ray technology for agriculture, 3D printers, drones and more; 
  • supporting students to access school based pre-apprenticeship programs, and prioritising STEM courses that have been evaluated by industry as suitable for school students; and
  • ensuring local flexibility for schools to negotiate the most suitable courses and delivery arrangements with their local TAFE colleges and local industries.

A re-elected McGowan Labor Government will continue its strong investment in quality education in North West Central. The Plan for North West Central includes:

  • STEM classrooms at Carnarvon Community College and Tom Price Senior High School; and
  • investment into science resources for primary schools across the region, including science classrooms at Exmouth District High School, Carnarvon Community College, Ngaanyatjarra Lands School, North Tom Price Primary School and Kalbarri District High School.

The McGowan Labor Government is committed to ensuring Western Australians have access to high quality healthcare, regardless of where they live. The Plan for North West Central includes:

  • $5 million for planning and early works for a ‘one-stop shop’ primary care centre at the Meekatharra Health Service;
  • continued investment in the Patient Assisted Travel Scheme (PATS), increasing the accommodation subsidy to $100 per night, and increasing escort eligibility for people from vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, including women travelling to give birth; and
  • expanding the Community Paramedic model across the State, including in North West Central.   

After delivering a record investment in regional roads in its first term of government, a re-elected McGowan Labor Government will oversee another significant investment into regional roads, including:

  • widening the Quobba-Gnaraloo Road to a consistent width of seven metres with one metre shoulders;
  • a further $52 million investment into the now $507 million Regional Road Safety Program to invest in repairing, rebuilding and road safety treatments on tens of thousands of kilometres of country roads;
  • an additional $14.8 million across the State towards the $251.8 million Regional Roads Upgrades program; and
  • $5 million to increase the number of Truck Rest Stops on our major roads. 

As part of the McGowan Government’s record $28.8 billion pipeline of work, a number of major infrastructure projects are underway in North West Central. The WA Buy Local policy will ensure these projects will deliver ongoing jobs for locals over the next few years. 

Major projects funded or underway include the $14 million Minilya to Exmouth road upgrade, the $7 million Carnarvon fascine entrance project, the $14.2 million battery energy storage system projects in Exmouth, Carnarvon and Gascoyne Junction, $5.3 million towards the Tom Price Hospital redevelopment, the $6 million Yardie Creek Road upgrade in Exmouth, and more than $3.8 million in upgrades to facilities at the Shark Bay World Heritage Area and the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area.

The Plan for North West Central includes a number of additional commitments to ensure North West Central remains strong, long into the future. To read the full plan, visit

Comments attributed to Premier McGowan:

“A re-elected WA Labor Government will keep North West Central strong. 

“Creating jobs and training opportunities for Western Australians will always be my number one priority, and the Plan for North West Central will ensure our major investment into the regional will continue. 

“My government has invested more funding into regional WA than any government in history, and has delivered upgrades to schools, TAFEs, hospitals, roads and tourism.

“Our strong budget management and Plan for North West Central will ensure the region’s future is stronger than ever.”

Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:

“Our government has worked hard to deliver for the Gascoyne and Pilbara: we’re driving local jobs, economic diversification and quality local services.

“The Plan for North West Central continues that effort, bringing new investment into schools, roads, health and infrastructure in Carnarvon, Exmouth, Tom Price, Kalbarri, Meekatharra and across the region.”

Comments attributed to WA Labor Candidate for North West Central Cherie Sibosado:

“Premier Mark McGowan had WA’s back during the COVID-19 pandemic, and kept WA safe and strong. 

“The Plan for North West Central builds on the McGowan Government’s investment into our region, delivering jobs for locals, a strong economy, top-quality health and education, and a bright future for our community.”