WA Government recovery budget keeps WA safe and strong

The WA Government is investing significantly in community safety initiatives across Western Australia as part of its 2020-21 State Budget.

Western Australians will benefit from an additional 800 police officers, that will be recruited, on top of the 300 new police officers already being delivered.

The $314 million investment is the largest increase on record and will result in WA having the highest number of police officers per person of all States, as we continue to manage COVID-19 safely.

It will further support the WA Government’s efforts to ensure better police services are being delivered to the community, as part of the WA Recovery Plan implementation, which includes $96.5 million to upgrade and refurbish police stations across the State.

It comes on top of the WA Government’s commitment to community safety already underway, to give WA Police Force resources including body worn cameras, personal mobile devices and multi-threat body armour for frontline officers.

WA’s fire and emergency services will be further supported with a $6.6 million investment in a multispectral line scanner and high-performance aircraft that will significantly enhance the State’s aerial intelligence capabilities and management of fires or other hazards.

This investment will further strengthen WA’s emergency services and builds on the WA Government’s $15 million infrastructure upgrade and expansion package, as part of the WA Recovery Plan, to provide extra support to WA’s emergency services volunteers to drive local jobs and local content.

The State Budget also includes $2.4 million to establish a dedicated mental health unit at Bandyup Women’s Prison.

It will be the first time that the 50-year-old prison has had a mental health unit, which will have 32 beds and will provide therapeutic and counselling support for prisoners with mental health issues.

The District Court will also be bolstered with $5.5 million in funding for one additional District Court Judge and two support staff in response to the increase in lodgements and cases on hand.

This is in addition to the $109.9 million investment the WA Government has made in courts and tribunal services since taking office.

A $9 million investment is being made to implement the WA Government’s comprehensive Family Violence Reform Legislation to protect survivors of family and domestic violence and support them through the justice system.

This program of work is on top of the $28.1 million package of initiatives included in the WA Recovery Plan, which committed to employ 23 additional outreach workers, boost family violence response teams that support victims following police call-outs, an expansion to the Peel and Kwinana refuges and counselling, advocacy and support services.

The State Budget also includes $6.8 million to continue the Aboriginal Community Connectors program.

The program provides safe transport options, connects vulnerable people with culturally responsive crisis support and provides local employment opportunities through services contracts across the State and in the regions.

Other key community safety projects and election commitments that are underway or in progress include:

  • $322.2 million to implement the Methamphetamine Action Plan with more crisis support, mental health and drug and alcohol services, prevention and harm reduction initiatives, the roll out of the Meth Border Force to disrupt the movement of meth, delivery of the alcohol and drug treatment prison and the toughest penalties in Australia for meth traffickers;
  • $20.5 million for the introduction of the Target 120 early intervention program in Albany, Armadale, Bunbury, Kalgoorlie, Kununurra and Mirrabooka and expansion to further sites to reduce youth crime and prevent reoffending;
  • $11.7 million to establish new Family and Domestic Violence One Stop Hubs in Mirrabooka and Kalgoorlie to make it easier for family and domestic violence victims to access services;
  • $52.3 million in the expansion of electronic monitoring of offenders in the community;
  • $310 million funding to expand WA’s prison capacity with the addition of 1,228 new beds to the WA custodial estate, including increasing prison capacity at Bunbury Regional Prison and Casuarina Prison;
  • $266.7 million commitment to the Aboriginal Youth Wellbeing package which includes measures including housing, municipal and essential services and programs to support health and mental health issues in the Kimberley;
  • $6.2 million Kimberley juvenile justice strategy including night patrols, place-based activities, youth-engagement program and integrated learning program;
  • $37 million to continue the operation of the South West Emergency Rescue Helicopter;
  • $22 million investment to boost the Enhanced Prescribed Burning program in the South-West;
  • New $13.4 million multi-purpose emergency services facility being built in Collie that includes a Level Three Incident Control Centre, Emergency Driver Training School and regional fleet maintenance;
  • $18 million Bushfire Centre of Excellence in Nambeelup to bring together the best research and training techniques in bushfire management;
  • $11.3 million injection to support and expand PCYCs in Carnarvon, Kununurra, Midland and Rockingham;
  • $85.8 million state-of-the-art Armadale Courthouse and Police Complex to accommodate police and justice staff in one premise;
  • $1.4 billion Community Safety Commitment to give the WA Police Force resources to keep the WA community safe, which includes the roll out of body worn cameras to improve police interactions with the public, personal mobile tablets to free up police officers for more time on the beat and the provision of personal multi-threat body armour to frontline police officers.

Source: WA Government