Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro today invited regional towns affected by mining activity to apply for a share of the $50 million Resources for Regions program.
The program, part of the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government’s $1.3 billion Regional Growth Fund, recognises the impact mining operations have on local infrastructure and services.
Speaking at the Muswellbrook Chamber of Commerce, Mr Barilaro said patching and stabilising local roads, upgrading Muswellbrook Hospital and reducing rail noise in the town centre demonstrate how previous funding under the Resources for Regions program is benefiting mining towns.
“The Resources for Regions program is building safer and more efficient roads across Muswellbrook through stabilisation works that ensure cars and trucks travelling to the region’s six local mines avoid damage and are safer,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Resources for Regions funded the replacement of old equipment in the Muswellbrook Hospital Emergency Department, upgraded chemotherapy and renal dialysis facilities, and now the refurbishment of the southern wings.
“Another example of a successful project through the program is noise-dampening walls that are providing peace of mind for more than 50 properties along the rail line between Muswellbrook station and Hill Street in the town centre, where café patrons can now enjoy a coffee outdoors.”
Resources for Regions, significantly boosted in the 2017-18 NSW Budget to provide more benefits to mining affected communities, has provided $236 million to 42 successful economic growth and community quality of life projects since 2012.
“Mining makes a significant contribution to the NSW economy, supporting more than 100,000 jobs, but we recognise that these benefits place additional stress on services and infrastructure, such as the condition of local roads,” Mr Barilaro said.
“It is important that the mining communities that contribute so much to the state continue to thrive as attractive regions to live and work.”
Mining-affected communities in Local Government Areas located outside of the Sydney Metropolitan area can apply for program funding from 1 July, 2017.
Further information about Resources for Regions and the application process is available atwww.nsw.gov.au/resourcesforregions.