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LABOR: RELEASE RESOURCES FOR REGIONS FUNDS NOW

March 02, 2020

The NSW Labor Opposition has demanded the $24 million for regional communities, that is unallocated in Round 6 of the Resources for Regions program, is released to support regional communities immediately.
 
NSW Labor Leader Jodi McKay and her Shadow Cabinet visited Singleton and the Hunter over the weekend and the consistent message from local Mayors and Councillors was the need to invest in their communities by building the infrastructure needed to support existing jobs and help to create new ones.
 
Many of the projects discussed could be funded, at least in part, by the $24 million underspend of Round 6 of the Resources for Regions program that the Berejiklian-Barilaro Government promised to release early this year but have done nothing about.
 
NSW Labor Leader Jodi McKay said that mining-impacted communities who are eligible for grants under the Resources for Regions program deserved better treatment by the NSW Government.
 
“The Berejiklian-Barliro Government should stop ignoring regional NSW.
 
“Regional NSW needs economic stimulus and infrastructure improvements to support communities, which is exactly what the Resources for Regions program is supposed to achieve yet millions are sitting in a government bank account not helping anyone in regional NSW.
 
“It’s unfair and wrong that while we see blow-out after blow-out on bungled Sydney projects the Berejiklian-Barilaro Government is sitting on millions of dollars that should be being spent on projects in regional NSW”, Ms McKay said.
 
Shadow Minister for Natural Resources, Paul Scully, said that not only should the unallocated $24 million in the Resources for Regions program be allocated immediately but the Government needs to reform the program.

“Singleton and the Hunter has consistently missed out on funds from the Resources for Regions program and local MP’s like Michael Johnsen are content to sit by watch it happen and allow his government to sit on millions of dollars In improvements for his community. At worst this reflects his incompetence, at best it reflects his unwillingness to stand up for his electorate.” Mr Scully said. 
 
“Resources for Regions was announced with much fanfare by the NSW Nationals as a means to get money into regional communities but it is simply not working.
 
“Good projects are not receiving funding and that is setting back regional communities," Mr Scully said.
 
“I have been calling on the Government to get its act together with the Resources for Regions program for months yet we see no money flowing and no improvements so that all mining communities get a fair shot at getting money back into their communities.
 
“Trying to make the budget bottom line look better by not spending money allocated to regional NSW is not only short-sighted but it is an insult to regional communities”, Mr Scully said."

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