NSW Labor candidate for the Upper Hunter Jeff Drayton today announced a Labor Government will overhaul the Resources for Regions program to return at least $100 million of mining royalties back to mining communities.
Mr Drayton said: “We’ve been dudded for too long here in the Upper Hunter. We send billions down to Sydney for their stadiums, trams and toll roads but we get nothing in return.
Labor’s plans will help get us back our fair share. We will take the politics out of Resources for Regions and make sure the Upper Hunter gets its fair share from the huge contribution local mining makes to the NSW economy.
“This is money that will go into fixing our roads and building infrastructure that can create local jobs.”
Labor would also increase the minimum allocation in each round, delivering record funding to create jobs and support businesses across the Upper Hunter.
NSW Labor Leader Jodi McKay joined Mr Drayton in Singleton to unveil Labor’s plan, which 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
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.
That money should have been used to create jobs and build local infrastructure.
Ms McKay said: “Labor will help Councils in mining communities plan for the future and attract investment. This is hugely important to support new industries and jobs and make sure the Upper Hunter gets its fair share for the future.”
Mr Drayton also announced a plan to create more jobs at former mines and on power generation sites. Under Labor, the NSW Government would meet the cost of master planning mines or power generation sites prior to closure, if the site commits to maintaining or increasing the number of jobs.
This would allow valuable infrastructure and land to be repurposed for job creation when a mine reaches the end of its life.
Mr Drayton said the Upper Hunter sends $800 million to Sydney in coal mining royalties each year.
“The Upper Hunter isn’t getting its fair share under this Nationals Government. They’re ripping us off,” Mr Drayton said.
Despite gladly pocketing $800m a year from our hard work, the National Party down in Sydney refuse to send any of it back. It’s all at the whim of John Barilaro, and Councils have no certainty of what funding they might get.