Upper Hunter short-changed again by The Nationals

17 May 2021

NSW Labor is disappointed that once again the Deputy Premier John Barilaro has committed to the ongoing sale of public assets to fund the Resources for Regions program.

This is in direct contract to Labor’s commitment to return at least $100 million of mining royalties back to mining communities.
 
Labor’s Shadow Minister for Natural Resources Paul Scully slammed today’s announcement of just $8 million for council and community projects as another example of the region being short-changed under the Nationals.
 
“The Nationals had a chance to match Labor’s $100 million minimum commitment to the Resources for Regions program, each and every year. Instead, John Barilaro decided to stick to underfunding and returning less money to mining affected councils,” Mr Scully said.
 
“A vote for the Nationals is a vote for more privatisation and less funding returned to mining communities.”
 
In 2019, the Deputy Premier John Barilaro underspent Round 6 of the Resources for Regions fund by almost 50 per cent, withholding millions that was rightfully allocated to mining communities.
 
Labor’s plan would see Councils in mining communities across NSW receive a share of at least $100 million a year.  If royalties allow, a Labor Government would look to provide more.
 
The program will also:

  • Prioritise local job creation and businesses under Labor’s NSW Made policy
  • Allow Councils to undertake investment attraction activities to support jobs growth in mining communities in line with their long-term plans for the future.

“Instead of securing a stable, guaranteed revenue stream for the Resources for Regions program, the Nationals have decided to keep it funded out of their asset privatisations and at the political whim of the Deputy Premier. The same political whim that led to him withholding half of the funds from Round 6, and caused Singleton Council to miss out on getting even a single project funded two years running,” Mr Scully said.
 
“Under the Nationals, the average of the last three rounds has been $50 million. Under Labor’s plan, this would be doubled to a minimum of $100 million - and would be guaranteed to be dispersed every single year to mining affected councils, rather than whenever John Barilaro decides he wants to announce another round.”