Confirmed: Mining regions dudded on resources funding

11 August 2020

The Government has confirmed mining-dependent regions have been robbed $24 million under Resources for Regions funding.

The Government has confirmed mining-dependent regions have been robbed $24 million under Resources for Regions funding. 
 
Only $50 million was made available to mining-dependent communities when round 7 of the program was announced in June. This is despite a significant underspend during the previous round, where only $26 million was spent. 
 
In response to a question on notice, the Deputy Premier John Barilaro has since admitted the Round 7 funding included the previously unallocated $24 million from Round 6.  

Labor Shadow Minister for Natural Resources, Paul Scully, said: “This is an open and shut case of the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government dudding mining-dependent communities of around $24 million when it can be least afforded.
 
“Instead of providing local regional economies with a stimulus boost, the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government is arrogantly ripping money out of those communities.
 
“The missing $24 million could help local communities fund the building of local roads, bridges, sporting facilities, pools, community centres, local halls and upgrading main streets.
 
“But because the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government has ripped these local communities off, many will be forced to not proceed with or postpone projects, putting local jobs and the recovery of local economies at risk." 
 
If the $24 million from Round 6 had been allocated with the $50 million in Round 7, the Resources for Regions program would be worth $74 million to mining-dependent communities across the state.

Mr Scully said this economic boost is desperately needed as communities struggle with drought, bushfire recovery, a recession and the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
“The Government has one last chance to do the right thing by boosting the Resources for Regions funding program by $24 million in the upcoming budget.
 
“It’s time the Deputy Premier walked the talk of supporting regional communities not be mean and tricky by sneakily taking funding away," Mr Scully said.