Cook Labor Government invests in safer and stronger communities

09 May 2024

The Cook Labor Government continues to strengthen support for safer and stronger communities throughout Western Australia, with a significant new investment in the 2024-25 State Budget.

  • 2024-25 State Budget delivers major investment into safer and stronger communities
  • $96.4 million to support family and domestic violence initiatives
  • $88.3 million to protect vulnerable young people, carers and individuals
  • $140 million to safeguard the community through justice initiatives  
  • $23.4 million to tackle crime via Operation Regional Shield
  • $5.1 billion continuation of WA's contribution to the NDIS over the next four years, to improve the lives of people with disability, their families, and carers

The Cook Labor Government continues to strengthen support for safer and stronger communities throughout Western Australia, with a significant new investment in the 2024-25 State Budget.

Protecting victim-survivors of family and domestic violence (FDV) as well as other vulnerable members of the community is a key focus in the 2024-25 State Budget, alongside initiatives to reduce crime, enhance court resourcing and support those living with disability.

Informed by key asks from the Family and Domestic Violence Taskforce, the Cook Government will enhance FDV response services, fund emergency accommodation, and improve victim-survivor safety.

A further $96.4 million will be invested to prevent FDV in the 2024-25 State Budget, including:

  • $53.8 million for Family and Domestic Violence Response Teams, expanding operations to seven days per week and rolling out additional community corrections officers;
  • $14.2 million to fund the operations of a new FDV One Stop Hub in the Perth metropolitan area;
  • $6.2 million to establish a dedicated organisation that will support and develop FDV informed workforces; and
  • $4 million to expand two rapid rehousing programs and deliver emergency accommodation for victim-survivors in Leonara, in the Goldfields.

The Cook Government is continuing to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of Western Australian children and vulnerable members of the community.

The 2024-25 State Budget cements this commitment with $88.3 million towards initiatives that support the State's most vulnerable, including:

  • $46.3 million to ensure the continued support of young people leaving out of home care through Home Stretch WA;
  • $17 million to support the continuation and expansion of foster carer supports across the State; and
  • $13.7 million to upgrade residential care homes for children in out of home care.

A further $23.4 million for Operation Regional Shield will enable the important WA Police Force crime suppression strategy to continue for another two years. The strategy facilitates rapid deployment of additional police assets anywhere in WA as required.

The 2024-25 State Budget continues the Cook Government's commitment to rehabilitate offenders and improve infrastructure within Western Australia's custodial estate, including:

  • $7 million to extend operation of the Mallee Rehabilitation Centre;
  • $3.1 million of additional funding to facilitate the installation of air conditioning at Roebourne Regional Prison;
  • $20.2 million of additional funding to increase capacity by hundreds of beds as part of the Casuarina Prison Expansion Project;
  • $2.4 million for upgrades and repairs at Bandyup Women's Prison, Boronia Pre-release Centre for Women and Hakea Prison.
  • $2.2 million for the newly created Young People directorate within Corrective Services;
  • $850,000 additional funding to implement and integrate new body worn cameras and digital data management for the youth custodial estate; and
  • $653,000 to continue operation of the Western Desert Justice Program, a diversionary initiative reducing over-representation of Martu men and women in the criminal justice system.

A further $103.7 million is being invested into Western Australia's exemplary legal system, including:

  • $69.9 million for new functions and services for the implementation of the Criminal Law (Mental Impairment) Act 2023, which comes into force on 1 September;
  • $31.7 million to support the State Solicitor's Office and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) to manage increasing workloads; and
  • $2.1 million for a team of prosecutors focused on expediting and improving the handling of regional Children's Court cases involving juvenile offenders.

The 2024-25 State Budget continues the record investment to support Western Australians living with disability, with $5.1 billion over the next four years allocated to support National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants. WA's expected contribution to the NDIS in 2024-25 is estimated to be around $1.3 billion.

The State Budget has also committed an $8.8 million boost to programs that support Western Australian seniors in the 2024-25 State Budget, including the WA Seniors Card program.

This program offers some of the most valuable State Government concessions and rebates in the country, as well as access to a wide range of discounts on goods and services for hundreds of local businesses to help older Western Australians with the cost of living.

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Comments attributed to Child Protection; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence and Community Services Minister Sabine Winton:

"The 2024-25 State Budget builds on the Cook Labor Government's record investment in preventing family and domestic violence in WA.

"There is never any excuse for violence and our Government will continue to prioritise the safety of victim-survivors.

"Everyone has the right to feel safe in their home, and we are grateful for the work of the Family and Domestic Violence Taskforce in providing a strong framework for investment in this important area.

"The Cook Government also continues to invest in protecting vulnerable children and families, with programs such as Home Stretch WA ensuring young people leaving out of home care have the support they need to transition into independence."

Comments attributed to Police; Corrective Services Minister Paul Papalia:

"Operation Regional Shield has achieved incredible results in supressing crime and antisocial behaviour throughout country Western Australia.

"Extending the funding for a further two years in this year's State Budget will ensure regional communities continue to benefit from the proven to be effective strategy.

"The Mallee Rehabilitation Centre, run out of Casuarina Prison, was the first dedicated alcohol and other drug treatment facility established within the men's custodial estate. Early results show participating prisoners are approximately 35 per cent less likely to reoffend.  

"The additional $7 million will see more prisoners benefit from the potentially lifechanging program."

Comments attributed to Attorney General John Quigley:

"The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions' purpose is to deliver an independent, fair, and just criminal prosecution service to our community.

"Many of the cases handled by the ODPP carry high public interest, large volumes of evidentiary material, and significant case complexity.

"Likewise, the State Solicitor's Office serves a crucial role in providing high-quality legal services to the Government of Western Australia and various State entities.

"Additional funding for these agencies will help to reduce growing workload pressures and ensure they can continue to provide legal services to the highest standard."

Comments attributed to Disability Services; Seniors and Ageing Minister Don Punch:

"The Cook Government strongly supports the NDIS and recognises its importance in improving the lives of people with disability, their families, and carers.

"In addition to our continued record investment in the NDIS, our Government remains committed to funding State-run disability services such as individual and systemic advocacy, the ACROD Parking Program and Companion Card Programs.

"These initiatives, along with a number of other programs, support people with disability in WA outside the scope of the NDIS, which only covers 10 per cent of people with disability.

"We're also investing $8.8 million to support programs for our Seniors, which will make the Cook Government even more responsive to the needs of seniors of all backgrounds to live their best lives across the State."