NSW councils unanimously vote for more mining royalties

Western New South Wales councils have moved to lobby the State Government for a bigger cut of mining royalties.

Broken Hill City Council put the motion to the Western Division of Councils conference at Nyngan yesterday.
It was unanimously passed.

Broken Hill Deputy Mayor Darriea Turley told the ABC that delegates from councils across western NSW agreed not enough funds from the Royalties for Regions program was going to rural councils.

"They agreed that we were missing out on opportunities – that if we got 30 per cent of the royalties to rural councils, 30 per cent of the benefits to rural councils, that would help us with a whole range of infrastructure challenges that we have," she said.

Councillor Turley argued that councils in the region do not receive enough of the benefits mining brings, especially as mining companies use council infrastructure like roads.

"We know that we get population and employment from the mining related areas, but we also know that a lot of our mines are outside of our rateable income," Turley said.

"And so there was great debate and certainly again it was a unanimous vote for supporting the development of the Royalties for Regions project and that we should write to the minister as a matter of urgency."

Earlier this month Australian Mining reported that the Broken Hill City Council had proposed a taskforce to look at ways to increase the revenue it receives from mining companies.

At the time Turley said the council wanted to look at how to earn revenue from mines outside the city council area.

"At the moment you've got mining companies outside of Broken Hill using our roads and other services and we can't even rate them, and yet the community have to pay for contribution to services," she said.

"We just want to get it right. It's certainly not going to happen overnight and that's why we say a taskforce might be best placed – a taskforce that isn't supported by the State Government – and that needs to look at those critical issues."

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