Upper Hunter towns Singleton and Muswellbrook account for a combined total of 43% of NSW’s coal mining output.
And, in 2021, that alliance amounted to more than $18 billion – of the industry’s $40 billion – into the state government’s coffers (Remplan Economic Output Estimates 2021 Release 3).
So, it’s no surprise Singleton mayor Sue Moore wants her fair slice of the financial pie returned to the area… once again.
She’s calling on the leaders of mining-affected communities to support her push for the reinstatement of the Resources for Regions program after the scheme was scrapped by Labor in the NSW budget, handed down in September.
Her plea comes after rounds seven, eight and nine of the initiative injected $25.9 million into the Singleton LGA, proving to be a crucial funding instrument.
In a Mayoral Minute this week, which was unanimously carried by council, Cr Moore stated it was vital to restore the concept in its former glory.
She and general manager Jason Linnane also plan to make representations to the government in the hopes it will acknowledge the significant economic contribution mining communities make to the prosperity of NSW.
“Having seen the positive impact the Resources for Regions had on towns including Singleton, and following council’s strong advocacy for the program to continue beyond 2023, it’s absolutely crucial that the government reconsider its decision,” she said.
“It must continue in the same format, as a minimum, so our councils can maintain the relationship with the state government to deliver what our communities need and deserve.
“Resources for Regions has proved to be a successful mechanism to deliver a fair return to our community for the daily and unavoidable impacts of mining.
“Issues including air quality, traffic congestion, visual impairment and reputation are matters that affect us so much more as a result of being where the mining activity actually occurs.
“So, it is important the NSW Government funding flows back into mining-affected communities as an acknowledgement of the integral role we play in the continued prosperity of NSW and to help us on the path to the economic and social evolution for generations to come, building our region for a time when mining may be a smaller component of our economic output.
“Considering the significant amount of royalties generated from mining regions and given the government will raise coal royalties by an estimated $2.7 billion over the next four years, it’s only fair that communities like Singleton, who are so affected by this industry, are adequately compensated.”
Cessnock City, Lake Macquarie City, Maitland City, Muswellbrook Shire and Upper Hunter Shire councils, along with City of Newcastle, are also impacted by the axing of Resources for Regions.
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