February 22, 2018

Royalties for Regions

The Liberals will continue to support the regions, as they did when in Government previously, Opposition Leader Mike Nahan said today.

Dr Nahan said the Langoulant Inquiry found that under Royalties for Regions, there was a “significant deficit in the rigour applied to project selection and poor targeting of funding towards projects that would deliver lasting economic and social outcomes to regional Western Australia”.

“Like other areas of the Langoulant Inquiry, the Liberals will use the recommendations to monitor the performance of the McGowan Government and as guidance for governance processes in the future,” Dr Nahan said.

“While retaining Royalties for Regions – which is enshrined in the Royalties for Regions Act 2009 – the Liberal Party is committed to efficient and effective spending of taxpayers money and will ensure the pool of funds disbursed through Royalties for Regions goes through the same budget processes as other agencies.

“The Liberals have a proud record in Government of investing in important infrastructure and services in the regions, not just through Royalties for Regions, but through the normal budget process.

“Royalties for Regions achieved an important initial purpose at its inception, as investment in the regions was necessary at the time due to a lack of funding by the former Labor Government.

“Following more than $6 billion being invested in the regions, Royalties for Regions needs to evolve and be normalised so it is treated like other budget line items.

“It is important Royalties for Regions is subject to the volatilities of the budget, as other core areas of the budget are subject to, such as spending on education, health and law and order. This pool of money cannot be sacrosanct and immune from budget volatilities.

“Government spending in the regions comes from multiple sources, not just the Royalties for Regions pool.

“The Royalties for Regions brand name intimates the only spending in the regions comes from the fund; yet significantly more was spent in the regions under the previous Government than the Royalties for Regions component.

“Investing in regional WA will continue to be essential for Western Australia’s ongoing development and funding – from both the Royalties for Regions pool and consolidated revenue – will be scrutinised like every other aspect of government expenditure.”

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