There were not many surprises for Pilbara households in this year’s State Budget after a one-off $600 credit on electricity bills was announced days ago. A host of funding initiatives already unveiled through the Pilbara recovery plan in August made up a significant chunk of the region specific sections of the Budget, with record spending on road projects, TAFE courses and industry infrastructure the big Pilbara winners of the day. Handed down by WA Treasurer Ben Wyatt, pictured, last Thursday the pandemic-era Budget assumes the State will remain free of COVID-19 by keeping its hard border in place until at least March and marks the last ahead of the State election in five months. The region will also benefit from the McGowan Government’s decision to recruit 800 more police officers, although it’s unclear how many new officers would be based in the Pilbara. Pilbara specific funding revealed last week included $1.4 million towards progressing the World Heritage nomination of the Murujuga Cultural landscape, $3.8m towards administration buildings at Cassia and Baler primary schools in Hedland, $1.76m for the refurbishment of Jigalong Health Clinic and $5.2m towards the Tom Price Hospital redevelopment. Port Hedland residential aged-care facility Karlarra House is set to receive $17.8m, in the only unexpected announcement in the document. Premier Mark McGowan said he believed households in the Pilbara were big winners in the Budget. “We know that the pandemic has been extremely challenging for many in our community, and this assistance will make life a little easier for local families,” he said. “I’m also pleased to announce that the local community will benefit from our major boost to police officers.” “The State Budget fully delivers on the $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan, which includes major upgrades to infrastructure and services in the Pilbara region, driving economic recovery and creating a pipeline of local jobs.” Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the Government’s ongoing guarantee to deliver Royalties for Regions ensured West Australians had access to quality services, no matter where they lived. Despite a significant spend on schools across the Pilbara there was no new funding for Hedland Senior High School.