The NSW Labor Opposition is calling on Acting Premier John Barilaro to announce Round 6 funding grants under the Resources for Regions program so mining communities in New South Wales have access to a speedy economic boost to their local areas.
On a visit to Muswellbrook in the state’s Hunter region on 30 April 2019, Mr Barilaro revealed that 11 projects worth up to $50 million in total were to be funded under Round 6 of the Resources for Regions program. He indicated that the projects funded would be “announced over coming weeks.”
Just over two months later, mining communities across New South Wales are still waiting for the successful projects to be announced.
Several of these communities are drought-affected and could do with the additional help of some economic stimulus.
NSW Labor has lodged a number of Questions on Notice to Mr Barilaro in an effort to prompt action on his behalf.
The announcement of all of the projects under Round 6 of the Resources for Regions program should not depend on his travel plans.
Shadow Minister for Natural Resources Paul Scully said: “It’s time for John Barilaro to get moving and end the more than 11-week delay since he said he was on the brink of making an announcement.
“Communities just need to know what projects are being funded so they can get on with building the roads, bridges and airport facilities they applied for and get some stimulus into their local economies and support local jobs.
“Mr Barilaro should recognise that many of these local communities are drought-affected and could do with the additional funding flow from the Resources for Regions program now.”
Mr Scully said that Mr Barilaro has already had to front up in May to explain to the Singleton local government area why his government had ignored it over two successive rounds of the Resources for Regions program. Other communities should not be forced to publicly embarrass Mr Barilaro to get the attention they deserve.