Mining Communities to Carry Unfair Burden of Budget Repair | Statement from NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee
Today’s NSW Budget confirms the unfair burden regional mining communities will be forced to bear in the task of budget repair.
While the NSW Government’s effort to repair the State’s fiscal position is commendable, regional mining communities are amongst those hardest hit.
Mining royalties are forecast to deliver the NSW government $13.2 billion over the next four years, including $2.7 billion from higher royalty rates to be introduced from 1 July 2024.
This is the single biggest revenue decision taken by the NSW Government in this budget, confirming the important role mining is playing in repairing the NSW budget position.
The billions delivered in royalty revenue are only possible due to the contribution of the hard-working people of our regional mining communities. Without our mining workers, their families and their communities, there would be no mining and no royalties.
It is, therefore, extremely disappointing that despite the extra billions to be delivered in mining royalties, the Budget cuts several key mining-related funding programs.
These cuts will negatively impact mining communities and hinder the development of further long-term regional economic opportunities.
The abolition of the ‘Resources for Regions’ program will directly affect the quality of life of all people living in the 26 local government areas previously eligible for program funding.
This was an important program that delivered funding worth hundreds of millions over many years to local councils representing mining communities, helping to provide improved local infrastructure and services.
The abolition of both the ‘Critical Minerals Activation Program’ and the ‘Coal Innovation Program’ will hamper efforts to pursue long-term economic development opportunities for regional mining communities, including opportunities relating to emissions reductions.
Almost all of the remaining mining-related Budget funding announced in the Budget is actually provided by the industry itself through various fees and levies.
Mining communities deserve much better than this, including a fair share of the mining royalty revenue that their hard work delivers.