2018 WA State Budget

Following the release of the 2018 WA State Budget, and to make it easier to digest, we've unpacked the key highlights for you.

How the budget will impact you 


  • Upgrades and redevelopment of existing schools totalling $1.2 billion across the state over four years.
  • $153.6 million to build new primary and secondary schools to open from 2021 including Aspiri, Aveley, Baldivis, Banksia Grove, Butler North, Byford South, Caversham, Kitchener Park Subiaco, Lakelands, Oakwood, South Baldivis & Southern Grove.
  • 100 additional education assistants in 2018 with 100 more in 2019-20.
  • Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers in 51 schools in 2018 and 74 schools in 2019.
  • Providing Independent Learning Coordinators located at 10 regional schools & 8 Regional Learning Specialists in 2018 for students in Year 11 and 12 studying through the School of Isolated and Distance Education.
  • 100 primary school classrooms converted into science labs in 2018-19.
  • $17.9 million in South Regional TAFE’s Esperance Campus to provide industry relevant training facilities to support the training & workforce development needs of the Esperance region.
  • $3.4 million over 2018-19 to 2021-22 to expand the STEM strategy with a focusing on education around the key skills of problem solving, critical thinking & innovation. 

International Education

  • The Government has committed $2 million over five years to finalise the development of an International Education Strategy for Western Australia to support the industry to increase the number of higher education, vocational and school students coming to study in Perth.

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  • $73.3 million to redevelop the Geraldton Health Campus.
  • $1.8 million for a birthing centre at Fiona Stanley Hospital.
  • $24.9 million over four years for upgrades at Osborne Park Hospital; including the upgrade of the neonatal unit, expansion of midwifery services and an increase in the number of rehabilitation beds and post-operative rehabilitation physiotherapy services. $10.6 million of this funding is being contributed from the Federal Government.
  • $4.6 million for the planning of the development of the Joondalup Health Campus.
  • $2.2 million for increased protection for health staff; including those performing home visits and working at remote nursing posts.
  • $40 million in capital funding to continue the medical equipment replacement program in 2018-19 and 2019-20.
  • $182.3 million over four years for the Patient Assisted Travel Scheme to support regional Western Australians when they need to travel for medical treatment.
  • Expanding the free Meningococcal vaccination program to include children aged one to four and will still include teenagers 15 to 19.
  • $11.8 million to develop a Mental Health Observation Area and an authorised Mental Health Unit at Royal Perth Hospital. This funding will provide dedicated areas to manage mental health patients that are presented to the Emergency Department. Of this funding, $4 million is being contributed by the Federal Government.
  • $20.3 million towards the Sector Transition Fund, to assist people with disability and service providers to adapt to new requirements under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). This is following the bilateral agreement between The State and The Commonwealth to deliver the National Disability Insurance Scheme in Western Australia.

Methamphetamine Action Plan

  • $16 million from 2018-19 to 2021-22 into treatment facilities to provide early intervention and respond to severe methamphetamine dependence.
  • $9.3 million to fast track 33 more alcohol and drug rehabilitation beds in the South West.
  • $4.5 million from 2018-19 to 2020-21 to continue to employ community treatment employees in Community Alcohol and Drug Services across Western Australia.
  • $10.2 million over the next five years to construct and operate a Mid-West community mental health service.

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  • As of 1 July, single use plastic bags will be banned in a move towards a plastic-free state.
  • Container deposit scheme earmarked for 2020, offering a 10 cent refund on eligible bottles and cans.
  • $9.3 million over four years for the Pilbara Environmental Offsets Fund to offset environmental impact of clearing by mining and other companies.
  • $10.5 million to fast-track the creation of the Preston River to Ocean Regional Park & Leschenault Regional Park.
  • $2.5 million to protect the endangered Carnarby’s Cockatoo by reducing the extent of pine plantation harvesting.
  • $80 million to the new Rural Fire Division enhancing rural WA’s bushfire capacity.
  • $16 million to continue the Aboriginal Rangers Program.
  • $10 million to help protect the Abrolhos Islands.
  • $8.6 million for the Regional Estuaries initiative.
  • $8 million towards a Living Knowledge Centre at Murujuga National Park.
  • $3.6 million over 4 years for the Great Kimberley Marine Park.
  • $3 million for developing Lake Kepwari.
  • $1 million towards the establishment of a park and reserve network including the coral reefs of the Buccaneer Archipelago.
  • $900,000 for community groups to carry out restoration works on the Swan and Canning Rivers.
  • $1.6 million per year for the Natural Resource Management Program providing grants to restore and rehabilitate local natural areas.

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  • $128.5 million investment in critical fire and emergency services including:
  • $19.5 million for 38 volunteer and marine rescue groups for emergency services along the coastline.
  • $8 million allocated for replacing regional ageing volunteer fire stations and $8.7 million to complete the roll out of crew protection measures.
  • $80 million to enhance rural bushfire capacity through the new Rural Fire Division, including $18 million for a Bushfire Centre of Excellence.
  • $800,000 boost to finalise remediation through the Yarloop bushfire clean up.

These initiatives will be largely funded by the 10.1% increase in the average residential charge for the Emergency Services Levy to support the state’s fire and emergency services and improve rural fire capabilities.


  • $78.8 million to build the Armadale Courthouse and Police Complex.
  • $26.9 million for a new police helicopter.
  • $20.5 million for the new Target 120 initiative – an early intervention program to reduce juvenile reoffending in WA.
  • $4.2 million for two additional magistrates to ease pressure with criminal matters coming before the Magistrates Court.

Domestic violence

  • $4.3 million to implement the National Domestic Violence Order Scheme to enable family violence restraining orders and police orders to be automatically recognised and enforced across all Australian jurisdictions.
  • $2.6 million towards a residential program, which will have nine beds and a 24/7 service to help family and domestic violence perpetrators change their behaviour.
  • $570,000 for crisis and transitional accommodation in Collie.
  • $1.1 million to support the Kimberley family violence service.

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  • The state government will contribute $184 million to a $394 million Social and Affordable Housing and Jobs Package, aligned to Metronet. The additional $209 million will be provided by private sector investment.
  • The package will provide 1,390 new transit-aligned homes, including 320 social houses and 400 affordable purchase opportunities. Eight high-density developments have also been highlighted.
  • Foreign buyers will be charged a 7% levy on residential property purchases. This is in line with other states and an increase from the previously announced 4% surcharge. This surcharge will be introduced from 1 January 2019.

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Transport & infrastructure

Snapshot on transport

  • $3.6 billion allocated to METRONET projects in total.
  • Six rail projects totalling 72km either planned or under construction.
  • WA jobs maximised with 50% local content for 246 new METRONET railcars.
  • More than $2 billion being spent on regional roads.
  • $135 million investment in cycling infrastructure.


  • Forrestfield-Airport Link: The $1.9 billion project remains on track for completion in late 2020, with new stations at Redcliffe, Airport Central and Forrestfield. $514.9 million has been allocated to the project in 2018-19.
  • Thornlie-Cockburn Link: The $536 million project will extend the Thornlie Line to Cockburn Station, the first stage of a potential Circle Line, with two new stations at Nicholson Road and Ranford Road. In 2018-19, $110 million has been allocated to the project.
  • Yanchep Rail Extension: The $520 million project will extend the northern suburbs rail line to Yanchep, with three new stations at Alkimos, Eglinton and Yanchep. In 2018-19, $128.7 million has been allocated to the project.
  • Level crossing removal: $69 million is being invested to remove the level crossing at Denny Avenue in Kelmscott, with further planning underway to remove other crossings, located at Caledonian Avenue, Oats Street and Wharf Street. In 2018-19, $35 million has been allocated for the projects.
  • Morley-Ellenbrook Line: The new rail line will service the north-eastern suburbs, planning is underway with the first stage of the project, including a major upgrade to Bayswater Station. In 2018-19, $12.1 million has been allocated for the project.
  • Future planning: More than $50 million is allocated in this budget to continue planning work on the Morley-Ellenbrook Line, Byford Rail Extension, Midland Station Project and new Karnup Station.
  • $29.5 million has been allocated in 2018-19 for the $1.6 billion METRONET rail car program, which will deliver 246 new railcars over 10 years for the METRONET projects and replace aging railcars.

Investing in our roads

The budget includes $3.2 billion for road infrastructure to reduce congestion and improve safety. In 2018-19 an estimated $1.3 billion has been allocated.

A significant number of road projects have recently started construction or will get underway soon including:

  • $145 million for the duplication of Armadale Road between Anstey Road and Tapper Road.
  • $237 million for the Armadale Road Bridge, connecting North Lake Road.
  • $49 million for the Kwinana Freeway northbound widening between Russell Road and Roe Highway.
  • $86 million for the provision of a bridge at the intersection of Roe Highway and Kalamunda Road.
  • $40 million for widening the southbound lanes of Mitchell Freeway between Cedric and Vincent Street.
  • $115 million for bridges at the intersection of Wanneroo Road and Ocean Reef Road and Wanneroo Road and Joondalup Drive.
  • $31 million for the Wanneroo Road dual carriageway between Joondalup Drive and Flynn Drive.
  • $70 million for the duplication of Reid Highway between Altone Road and West Swan Road.
  • $15 million to undertake upgrades to Mitchell Freeway from Hutton Street to Cedric Street northbound.
  • $125 million for the extension of Stephenson Avenue between Scarborough Beach Road and the Mitchell Freeway.
  • $118 million for the High Street upgrade between Carrington Street and Stirling Highway.

Investing in cycling infrastructure

  • $67 million will be used to close gaps along the Fremantle Railway and Mitchell Freeway Principal Shared Paths (PSPs), completing an interconnected network of pathways extending 15 kilometres from the Perth CBD.
  • The funding includes the bringing forward of $18.7 million for construction to start on the missing section of the Fremantle Railway PSP in 2018-19.
  • $31 million will be available for the planning, design and construction of local bicycle infrastructure.
  • The four-year cycling plan also comprises over $36.5 million for cycling and pedestrian facilities as part of major road projects.

Boosting road safety across WA

The Government is investing in road safety initiatives to reduce road crashes and trauma. Initiatives include improvements to dangerous roads and intersections, stronger police presence on roads and community education campaigns to help change driver behaviour. These include:

  • $70 million to improve regional roads identified as high risk for runoff crashes.
  • $28.2 million directed into community education campaigns.
  • $20 million for improvements to Indian Ocean Drive.
  • $17.2 million towards road safety improvements to the Great Eastern Highway in the Wheatbelt region.
  • $13.3 million for safety upgrades at dangerous metropolitan intersections.
  • $2.4 million to continue improvements on Toodyay Road, taking the total upgrade investment to just over $36 million.
  • $1.8 million to increase driver breath and drug testing by WA Police Force.

Other projects 

  • Coastal infrastructure projects include:
    • Broome Boating Facilities Upgrade Project.
    • Construction of a public jetty in the Swan River on the Burswood Peninsula as part of the Optus Stadium project.
    • Broome Marina and Bremer Bay Boat Harbour planning.
  • Upgrades to the SmartRider System: $33.8 million will be spent to replace SmartRider system assets and update the technology. In 2018-19, $22.5 million has been allocated. The updated system will introduce the ability to pay with credit cards and smartphones when boarding.
  • $23.2 million will be spent to improve level crossings on the Fremantle, Midland and Armadale rail lines. In 2018-19, $7.3 million has been allocated for the project.
  • $7.8 million will be invested in a new bus depot in Mount Claremont – $4.2 million has been allocated in 2018-19.
  • $2.6 million to acquire a new Transperth ferry. In 2018-19, $1.6 million has been allocated. The new ferry will replace the service provided by the older of the two existing ferries, which will provide spare capacity.
  • Fremantle Passenger Terminal is undergoing a refurbishment commencing in 2017-18. $3.3 million has been earmarked for works in 2018-19 to improve passenger amenities and the efficiency of operations.
  • $15.3 million over the next 4 years to establish Infrastructure WA with $1.8 million in 2018-19. Infrastructure WA will provide advice to government about the state’s infrastructure needs and priorities. 

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Utilities & energy

  • The government will increase residential electricity prices for the average household by 7% in 2018-19, or about $120 a year.
  • Water charges will be increased by 5.5% in 2018-19.
  • $900 million to be invested over the forward estimates in water, wastewater and drainage projects in regional WA, including the Onslow Water Infrastructure Upgrade.
  • $5.5 million provisioned to bid for the Commonwealth’s New Energy Industry Cooperative Research Centre HQ.
  • $19.5 million investment in the Albany Wave Energy Project.

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  • Employment growth is expected to increase by 1.5% or 20,000 jobs in 2018-19.
  • $22.5 million for a program of Regional Economic Development Grants. The program will be supporting community-driven projects with the aim of delivering local jobs and economic growth outcomes.
  • A Skilled Local Jobs Bill will be drafted, that will require a skilled work agreement to be implemented on all major resource projects.
  • $19.4 million for the employment of additional staff in the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation and for the development of an Environment Online system.
  • With up to 200 employees expected to permanently transfer to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIS), $14.5 million has been set to facilitate the transition.

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Business & agriculture


  • More opportunities to tender and apply for government work will be made available via the WA Industry Link system. Nine pilot projects across WA are already underway.
  • Significant liquor reforms to reduce red tape for applications in the hospitality industry to support local businesses.
  • $17.8 million over four years for new and emerging businesses as part of the New Industries Fund.
  • $11.8 million for the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC). The SBDC advocates for fairer contracting practices and improved security of payments for small business subcontractors and suppliers in the State’s building and construction industry.


  • $45 million over four years for the Building Western Australia’s Grains Research and Development Capacity Program.
  • $6.2 million for Regional Economic Development Grants Program. The program will support small, community-driven projects with the aim of delivering local jobs and stimulating economic activity at a local level.

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Infrastructure & transport

  • $106.3 million over the forward estimates period to commence the northern and southern sections of the Bunbury Outer Ring Road.
  • $20 million to widen a 58km section of Indian Ocean Drive to allow a greater centre separation between traffic and reduce the risk of crashes.
  • $347 million for a range of upgrades on the Great Northern Highway from Muchea to Wubin.
  • $66 million to complete construction of the remaining 90 kilometres of unsealed sections of the Broome to Cape Leveque Road.
  • $30 million for upgrades to the South Coast Highway between Albany and Jerramungup
  • $50 million for Stage 3 of the Karratha-Tom Price Road improvement project.
  • $35 million to progress planning for Stages 2 and 3 of the Albany Ring Road.
  • $17 million to continue upgrades to Great Eastern Highway on priority sections identified in the Wheatbelt Safety Review.
  • $112 million in funding towards the Port Hedland marina and waterfront development.
  • $35 million to upgrade roads related to the Square Kilometre Array Project.
  • $4.1 million for the Esperance indoor sports stadium.
  • $19.5 million investment in the Albany Wave Energy Project.
  • $49.3 million allocated to Transform Peel project.
  • $10 million allocated to the Mandurah Eastern foreshore redevelopment.
  • $19.8 million to continue the Pilbara Aboriginal Town Based Reserves Project.
  • $54.5 million towards the upgrade of the Marble Bar Road through Coongan Gorge.
  • $47.5 million towards the Myalup-Wellington Water for Growth Project and Southern Forest Irrigation Scheme.
  • $32 million towards the Rail Future Fund to upgrade the Perth-Australind rail service.
  • $34.4 million towards the Transforming Bunbury Waterfront Project.
  • $14 million towards upgrades to Great Eastern Highway between Anzac Drive and Gatacre Drive in Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
  • $7 million to upgrade the Port of Broome to enable the cruise ship industry to grow.
  • $33.6 million towards improvements of the Gibb River Road over four years.
  • $65.7 million to continue work on upgrades to Broome Cape Leveque Road.
  • $210.6 million for the construction of port infrastructure at the Port of Ashburton and capital projects funded by the Port Improvement Rate (PIR) at the Port of Port Hedland.


  • $182.3 million over four years, for the Patient Assisted Travel Scheme to support regional patients when they need to travel for medical treatment.
  • $73.3 million over the next five years for stage 1 of the Geraldton Health Campus Redevelopment to expand the emergency department, inclusion of an acute psychiatric unit and a mental health short stay unit.
  • $46.4 million to redevelop the Newman Health Service.
  • $12.8 million for the Northwest Drug and Alcohol Support Program.
  • $10.6 million for a residential aged care facility in Carnarvon.
  • $49.4 million to complete work on the Karratha Health Campus.
  • $14.8 million towards the Step Up, Step Down mental health facility in Karratha.
  • $13.4 million to complete and operate the sub-acute mental health facility in Bunbury.


  • Additional support provided for students in regional WA with extra Aboriginal and Islander Education Officers at 51 schools in 2018, and 74 schools in 2019.
  • 8 Regional Learning Specialists allocated to the School of Isolated and Distance Education to provide specialist classes for Year 11 and 12 students.
  • $30.1 million to continue the second stage of construction of Cape Naturaliste College.
  • $30 million to continue upgrades to Margaret River Senior High School.
  • $26.6 million for the final stage of amalgamation at Carnarvon Community College.
  • $17.2 million to complete works and refurbishments at John Willcock College.
  • $19.3 million for upgrades and an expansion of Broome Senior High School.
  • $24.8 million to continue delivery of the Kimberley Schools Program.
  • $17.9 million allocated towards the new South Regional TAFE Campus in Esperance.


  • $21.5 million to continue the Regional Youth Justice Services in the Kimberley and Pilbara.
  • $70 million to improve regional roads identified as high risk for runoff crashes.
  • $17.2 million towards road safety improvements to the Great Eastern Highway in the Wheatbelt region.
  • $8 million to replace ageing volunteer fire stations in regional locations.
  • $1.2 million for advanced warning signs at intersections on rural roads.
  • $136 million over four years for the Country Age Pension Fuel Card and $4 million for the volunteer fuel card.
  • $80 million to enhance rural bushfire capacity across the State through the new Rural Fire Division and $19.5 million for Volunteer and Marine Rescue groups.
  • $18.5 million for the Regional Enforcement Unit to increase traffic enforcement on country roads.
  • $21.5 million to continue the Regional Youth Justice Services into the Pilbara and Kimberley.
  • $20.5 million for the Target 120 program for early intervention into young offenders.
  • $39.7 million over four years to boost tourism funding to showcase regional destinations.
  • $24.8 million for the Regional Natural Resources Management Program.

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Important things you should know

Source: ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au

The information contained in this report is of a general nature and is not intended to be nor should it be considered as professional advice. You should not act on the basis of anything contained in this report without first obtaining specific professional advice. To the extent permitted by law, Bankwest, a division of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL/Australian credit licence 234945, its related bodies corporate, employees and contractors accepts no liability or responsibility to any persons for any loss which may be incurred or suffered as a result of acting on or refraining from acting as a result of anything contained in this publication.