By Angela Dorizas
The Government of Western Australia has announced an increase in district allowance payments for more than 7000 public sector employees in regional areas.
The $110.8 million district allowance, agreed to by public sector unions, is funded by the State Government’s Royalties for Regions program.
Workers in the Pilbara and Kimberley will receive the highest increases in allowance.
WA Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls said the allowance will help public sector employees meet higher living costs and compensate for working in a remote area.
“The $110.8 million district allowance offer will be allocated during the next four financial years, starting in 2010-11,” Mr Grylls said.
Public sector employees in Karratha are set to receive a district allowance of $9839 each year, up from the current rate of $3953 per annum.
The allowance for employees in the Kimberley will increase from $2500 to $4500.
Eligible employees with dependents will receive double those amounts.
Mr Grylls said the payments will be made once industrial agreements have been registered with the WA Industrial Relations Commission.
The increase in district allowance payments was welcomed by the Community and Public Sector Union of WA.
Branch secretary, Toni Walkington, told ABC South West WA that the union had pursued a six year campaign to increase the allowance payments.
“Much of that campaign has been through the effort of our members and through the public sector workers who felt that it was important that regional WA not lose government services and that people are here to provide essential and important services to our community in regional WA,” she said.
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