A 2016 survey of regional Western Australians has underscored the importance of the McGowan Government's Plan for Jobs, with employment prospects a major concern for regional residents.
The Living in the Regions report, released today, directly surveyed more than 10,000 regional Western Australians to tap into their attitudes, perceptions and priorities to give a clear picture of regional Western Australians.
More than half of regional residents said employment opportunities were an important reason for living in the regions but satisfaction with employment prospects dropped noticeably since the last time the survey was conducted in 2013.
The McGowan Government is investing more than $4 billion into creating jobs and projects in regional WA that really matter to regional residents.
Survey respondents also indicated concerns with education and training options in 2016; the 2017-18 State Budget committed $377 million to invest in regional schools, classrooms and training facilities.
Digital connectivity was another area of concern - the State Government has committed $60 million over the forward estimates to improve regional telecommunications.
The overall attitude of people living in regional WA remains positive with 59 per cent of young people wanting to stay in the regions, and 68 per cent of respondents saying they loved the regional lifestyle.
The full report is available at http://www.drd.wa.gov.au
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"The results of this survey reflect the economic reality of the last few years, with regional employment growth averaging just 1.2 per cent from 2012 to 2016.
"This is why our Government's focus on job-creating infrastructure and investing in the projects regional residents really need is so important.
"We need to drive economic growth in the regions and the $4 billion we will invest over the next four years will facilitate investment, job creation, industry diversification and address priority economic infrastructure and skills development."
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