The Nationals WA will invest $150 million over five years to transform the WA School of Mines (WASM) into an international Centre for Excellence in Mining and expand into the Pilbara if returned to Government at the State election.
Announced by Leader of The Nationals WA Brendon Grylls in Kalgoorlie today, the project would build facilities in the Goldfields and Pilbara, including a working mine, to allow WA students to gain a world-class education.
“WA was built on the back of the gold industry, we have also emerged as the world’s largest exporter of iron ore and have significant oil and gas deposits,” Mr Grylls said. “This means we are perfectly placed to deliver a world-class education in mining.
“As technology advances and automation increases, we want to ensure West Australians have the best possible preparation and training to secure employment in the mining sector.”
Mr Grylls said the $150 million commitment would include:
$5 million to an Executive Education Program
$50 million to a Research and Innovation Fund
$45 million to a Test Mine and Processing Plan
$10 million to a Northern Partnership Hub
$40 million to Industry Sector Initiatives
The Nationals WA Candidate for Kalgoorlie Tony Cook welcomed the announcement, labelling it a major win for students interested in a career in mining and the Kalgoorlie community.
“This significant investment will ensure the brightest young minds from across WA and the nation have access to relevant and modern education,” Mr Crook said.
“Kalgoorlie is a proud mining town with a bright future and this is an exciting opportunity for the community and surrounding regions.”
Mr Crook said the plan would be funded by The Nationals’ plan to increase the Special Lease Rental in legacy State Agreements from 25c to $5 per tonne. The Nationals would also co-invest with industry and the academic community to deliver the project under the plan.
“Unlike the major parties that are solely focused on investing into public transport in Perth, The Nationals WA were the only party dedicated to developing regional Western Australia,” Mr Crook said.
“We are the only party with a plan to protect Royalties for Regions, balance the State Budget and create jobs by ensuring everyone pays their fair share.
“Our new revenue source will allow projects such as the Centre for Excellence in Mining to be considered.”
For media enquiries contact Tony Crook on 0439 350 155 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more detail on The Nationals commitment to WA School of Mines, read the full policy paper here.