QLD to launch resources community fund

Image credit: Bruce Peebles. Copyright the state of Queensland.

The Queensland Government has reached an agreement with major resources companies in the state to create a $100 million Resources Community Infrastructure Fund (RCIF).

As per the agreement signed between the state government and the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), the former will contribute $30 million over three years, to be matched by $70 million in voluntary contributions by the resources companies.

Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Cameron Dick said the fund would be spent on projects that will improve economic and social infrastructure across Queensland’s resources communities.

“While COVID-19 has wrought terrible damage on the lives and businesses of Queenslanders, some of our traditional, regionally-focussed industries like mining and agriculture have spared us from even greater economic damage,” Dick said.

“I am pleased that by partnering with Queensland’s mining sector, we are able to deliver for regional resource communities through this new fund.”

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the RCIF would be in addition to the $74 billion in economic contributions to the Queensland economy, including more than $5 billion in royalty payments to the Queensland Government.

“On behalf of the resources industries and the communities we work in, I want to thank Treasurer Cameron Dick for acting so quickly to finalise an agreement to establish the fund which will secure investments into regional communities,” Macfarlane said.

“By finalising the agreement for RCIF, we – the government and QRC – can ensure the fund is part of Queensland’s recovery.”

According to Macfarlane, the Queensland Government has also agreed to maintain the current rate and threshold for coal and metal royalties as part of the agreement.

“The resources industry has worked so closely with the government to flatten the COVID-19 curve and keep as many of the 372,000 Queenslanders who depend on us for their work and wages,” Macfarlane said.

“I reaffirm our industry’s commitment to work with the government on initiatives and measures to help our industry deliver even more for Queensland’s recovery.”

An expert advisory committee, comprising the state government, resource community and industry representatives, will review and make recommendations for allocating funding for community infrastructure projects in Queensland resource communities.

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