A call to recognise and fund communities affected by mining

We’re calling on the NSW Government to consider the number of

mining-related workers living in a local government area (LGA), to better identify mining affected communities for increased infrastructure funding.

We’ve made the call in a submission to NSW Trade & Investment on additional criteria to decide which LGAs are considered “mining affected” and thus eligible for the NSW Government’s

Resources for Regions (RfR) funding program.

The RfR program has, since its introduction in fiscal year 2012/13, begun to address historical deficits in infrastructure investment in NSW mining regions.

The mining communities of Muswellbrook and Singleton have received $26.5 million in funding for a hospital upgrade, road improvements and a CBD renewal project. These two LGAs generate more than $700 million in royalties per annum.

However, there are other LGAs affected by mining that are not eligible under the current criteria, which are based on royalties raised in the LGA, or mining truck movements. Examples of ineligible LGAs include communities such as Cessnock, Parkes, Maitland, Broken Hill, Gunnedah and Lake Macquarie - all communities with a significant mining workforce.

In Maitland and Cessnock, for example, more than one in every three employees is supported by mining, but these areas are not able to apply for additional infrastructure funding through the program.

Adding mining employment as an assessment indicator will ensure more mining affected communities are appropriately recognised and eligible for RfR funding to support their infrastructure needs.