Queensland’s regional workers, their families and the communities they live in will receive more funding to assist in the post-COVID recovery, following the finalisation of arrangements for the Palaszczuk Government’s $100 million Resources Community Infrastructure Fund (RCIF).
Treasurer and Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Cameron Dick said the Fund would deliver $100 million over three years towards projects targeted at improving 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,” the Treasurer said.
“They’ve kept Queenslanders employed and continued to generate export revenue for our state.
“I am pleased that by partnering with Queensland’s mining sector, we are able to deliver for regional resource communities through this new fund,”
“The Palaszczuk Government backs the resources industry.
“We back the jobs and communities that industry is built on.
“Queensland resource companies have long made significant investments in the communities in which they operate and have a track record of partnering closely with local communities in a range of social, training and employment initiatives.
“The RCIF will supplement existing planned State community infrastructure, as well as the investment by resource companies, and deliver additional benefit to Queensland resource communities, for the workers and their families who live there.”
As part of the 2019-20 Budget and to get the RCIF rolling, the State committed to contributing $30 million to the RCIF over three years.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the State and the Queensland Resources Council have settled arrangements for resource companies to make contributions to the voluntary fund totalling $70 million over three years.
QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the RCIF would be in additional 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,” Mr Macfarlane said,
“By finalising the agreement for RCIF, we – the Government and QRC – can ensure the Fund is part of Queensland’s recovery.”
“The agreement on the Fund also delivers on the Government’s commitment in May last year to maintain the current rate and threshold for coal and metal royalties.”
“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.”
“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 Government, resource community and industry representatives, will review and make recommendations for allocating funding for community infrastructure projects in Queensland resource communities.