The “Royalties for Regions program”, which ensures 25 per cent of the state's mining and onshore petroleum royalties are spent in regional areas, is as good example of how the government can make use the mining boom to actually improve the living standards of even those not participating in the industry.
This program will ensure that WA gets a more equal spread of the dividends
A $600 million boost for social services announced after the WA budget will help answer the desperate calls from welfare organizations struggling to cope with the increased demand for their services.
Royalties for Regions is an historic agreement that underlines the State Government’s long-term focus on regional development throughout Western Australia.
Through Royalties for Regions, the equivalent of 25 per cent of the State’s mining and onshore petroleum royalties will be returned to the State’s regional areas each year as an additional investment in projects, infrastructure and community services.
The money is in addition to regular Budget programs and in 2009-10 it will provide an additional $619million for regional communities, this represents less than 4 per cent of Western Australia’s total budget.
St Vincent de Paul Society says increased costs of living has led to a record a 55 per cent increase in demand for help. The WA Council for Social Service says it needs funding to increase to $223 million each year to cope.
The big mining boom happening in WA has seen the state record the highest population growth in the country. On June 30, 2010, there were 2.3 million people calling WA home, an increase of 2.2 per cent in a year, compared to 1.7 per cent nationally. You can red more about the royalties for regions over here