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Hope for projects

Thursday, 29th May, 2014

By Emily Roberts

By Emily Roberts

Broken Hill can now apply for millions of dollars in capital funding following its belated inclusion in the NSW Government’s Resources for Regions program.

Minister for Western NSW, Kevin Humphries, this week announced the program’s criteria had been expanded to ensure mining affected centres like Broken Hill were eligible for funding.

The move follows calls for the government to include Broken Hill in the program.

“Through Resources for Regions we are reinvesting in communities that support the generation of mining wealth by delivering improved local infrastructure to those communities,” Minister Humphries said.

“As one of the State’s most productive and well known mining communities, it is very pleasing to see that Broken Hill will be eligible for funding to deliver infrastructure that will deliver real benefits to the local community.”

Broken Hill now joins Cobar, Lithgow, Mid-Western and Narrabri as the local government area in Western NSW eligible for funding under the 2014-15 Resources for Regions program.

Deputy Mayor Marion Browne yesterday welcomed the decision.

“Broken Hill is now on the eligibility list after a long campaign of Council fighting for the city to be included,” Clr Browne said.

“We argued that Broken Hill was a mining economy that was affected quite extensively.

“The criteria was changed to include us, it is pleasing they have taken notice. It’s good news.”

While there has yet to be any details released on the funding and criteria for projects, Council has many proposals that could benefit.

“We don’t know what money will be available, but we have a list of projects that would be valuable if we received funding,” Clr Browne said.

“We could easily make a list of worthy projects - there is the possible development of the airport, which has been on Council’s wish list for a long time.

“It would be quite an expensive project, but of great value in the long run.”

She said the film studio would also benefit from extra infrastructure funding.

“We also have Council’s own asset projects like the Broken Hill Library which is in real need of an upgrade.”

NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee, said the program provided critical public infrastructure funding to regional mining communities that contribute so much to the NSW economy.

“Expanding eligibility and funding for Resources for Regions in this way would help mining communities get a fair return for the economic windfall they deliver for NSW,” Mr Galilee said.

“The Resources for Regions program also needs a significant funding boost to ensure its long term future. We hope next month’s State Budget will deliver in this regard.

“In NSW the vast majority of our workforce live and raise families in the communities near where mining takes place. It’s therefore very appropriate that resources are invested back into these communities to support our mining families.”
Further details regarding the application process and the date on which the 2014-15 funding round will open will be announced in the coming months.

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