Coal communities confident in royalties return

Coal communities

The New South Wales Parliament has passed legislation giving the Royalties for Rejuvenation Fund an expert panel to guide the use of funds through coal mining communities.

The Fund was launched in April 2021 to set aside $25 million in coal mining royalties per year to strengthen the future of these communities as coal is phased out in coming decades.

Shadow Planning Minister Paul Scully wrote to the Deputy Premier Paul Toole in December 2021 calling for a panel to assess how these funds were distributed.

Today, that panel was approved.

“We are a significant producer of high-quality coking coal used to make Australian steel at Port Kembla and we make a sizeable contribution to the state’s royalty revenue,” Scully said.

“I welcome the fact the Deputy Premier has agreed with my call to him from last December and again in the debate about the Royalties for Rejuvenation Fund, that the Illawarra needs its own expert panel to help guide the administration of the fund.”

The Fund was originally announced by former Deputy Premier John Barilaro, who recognised the contribution of NSW’s coal communities.

“The NSW Government’s Future of Coal Strategy is a roadmap for the coal industry in NSW, but we understand that mines have a lifespan, and we need to ensure coal mining communities keep quality high-paying jobs in their towns for the next generation and the generation after that,” Barilaro said in April 2021.

Former Treasurer turned Premier Dominic Perrotet added that these communities would be far from forgotten moving forward.

“Hundreds of millions of dollars will be invested in these communities over coming years to ensure jobs and investment in our vital regional areas,” Perrottet said.

“We want to ensure mining towns continue to have highly skilled well-paid jobs in growth industries that will lock in their economic security long into the future, so young people have the opportunity to remain in the town where they grew up.”

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