OPINION – Budget Forgets Mining Communities

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The most recent NSW Budget shows in black and white how important the NSW mining industry is to the NSW economy.

Mining royalties are forecast to deliver the NSW government $13.2 billion over next four years, including $2.7 billion from higher royalty rates to be introduced from 1 July 2024.

This revenue will play an important role in the task of budget repair in the coming years.

The billions 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 therefore no royalties.

It’s therefore extremely disappointing that despite this massive contribution, the Budget included cuts to several key funding programs for mining communities.

These budget cuts will have a negative impact on mining communities and hinder the development of further long-term regional economic opportunities.

In particular, 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.

Let’s hope that when the Budget repair work is done, the NSW Government remembers the massive contribution our mining communities make to our state and restores funding for our mining regions.

Stephen Galilee, CEO, NSW Minerals Council

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