“Under the WA Recovery Plan, an additional $16.1 million is being spent to further the outcomes of the existing East Perth Power Station project,” a note in the budget papers revealed.
There is more money budgeted now by the McGowan government for the private development than for a new museum at the East Perth Power Station site planned by the Carpenter government before it lost office in 2008.
Development WA, which is overseeing the East Perth Power Station development, referred questions about the project to Treasurer Ben Wyatt’s office, which issued a statement from a spokeswoman.
“The McGowan government is progressing the revitalisation of one of our iconic landmarks, the old East Perth Power Station,” she said.
“This kind of project has been talked about for years, and now it’s finally coming to fruition.
“This project will create and support local Western Australian jobs and deliver a new, vibrant precinct on the banks of the Swan River that will become a prime destination for locals and tourists alike.”
The spokeswoman said the $16.1 million would be spent by Western Power for site preparation works, such as moving the transmission line at the site and decommissioning the switch yard.
Of the other government contribution, $30 million has been allocated for site works which are currently in progress and $20 million would go towards upgrading infrastructure and transport connections to the site and surrounding areas.
Extra $8 million for taxpayer Telethon donation
The East Perth Power Station development is not the only Stokes-linked project to benefit from extra cash in the budget.
The state government will increase the amount budgeted for its annual Telethon donation from $1 million a year to $3 million, even though in 2019 it donated $3.5 million.
Mr McGowan has featured prominently in a Telethon promotional film, where he is billed as one of “the biggest names in town” who will be appearing at the fundraising event at the end of October.
Mr Stokes and his wife Christine Stokes are trustees of the Channel 7 Telethon Trust, which raised $24.5 million for sick children in 2019.
“Each year the state government makes a contribution to Telethon, to assist with its work in carrying out vital research to improve health outcomes for WA children,” a spokesman for the Premier said.
“Last year, the state government’s contribution was $3.5 million. This year’s final contribution is yet to be determined.”
Nathan is WAtoday’s political reporter and the winner of the 2019 Arthur Lovekin Prize for Excellence in Journalism.