Changes to Royalties for Regions program

Western Australian Minister for Regional Development Brendon Grylls has outlined how mining royalties will be spent in country areas for the 2010-11 financial year

Western Australian Minister for Regional Development Brendon Grylls has outlined how mining royalties will be spent in country areas for the 2010-11 financial year.

The Minister wrote to all of the State’s country local governments, describing changes to how the Country Local Government Fund (CLGF) is allocated.

The CLGF is part of the Government’s Royalties for Regions program, which each year invests 25% of the State’s mining and petroleum royalties into regional areas.

In its recent mid-year review, the State Government decided to defer $90 million from the fund for the current financial year.

According to Grylls, this was necessary because the total royalty revenue estimates had been downgraded as a result of the strong Australian dollar.

“The Royalties for Regions Fund is linked intrinsically to royalty collections and any rise or fall of total royalty receipts invariably affects the fund,” he said.

As a result, Grylls said a larger chunk of the available funds would now be allocated to local government partnerships for “region-building initiatives.”

“Under the proposals, 65% of the total available funds in the CLGF would be available for individual local governments for infrastructure in their particular areas,” he said.

“The other 35% would be available to help co-operative groups of local governments work on larger scale infrastructure projects that would reach people in wider communities across their region.

“The money would be available to develop the projects or assist local government to leverage more money to make the projects happen.

“For example, the money might be used for infrastructure developments to attract industry, as well as upgrades to ports, roads, rail, communications and power.”

The State Government will also provide up to $7.5 million over the rest the year to help regional governments develop asset management plans and capital works plans.

The CLGF is part of the Government’s Royalties for Regions program, which each year invests 25% of the State’s mining and petroleum royalties into regional areas.

The Royalties for Regions program is designed to act in addition to the Government’s regular budget measures to boost regional projects, infrastructure and community services.

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