20/10/2008 - 11:06

Nats to spend half of royalties funding

20/10/2008 - 11:06

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Nationals leader Brendon Grylls said only half of the $675 million of the royalties for regions will be budgeted this year in order to maintain the state's AAA credit rating.

Nats to spend half of royalties funding

Nationals leader Brendon Grylls said only half of the $675 million of the royalties for regions will be budgeted this year in order to maintain the state's AAA credit rating.

Mr Grylls said the funding roll-out under the policy will not start until December, however initial projects to receive funding would be defined in a "funding blueprint" to be released shortly.

He added new money will go towards initiatives like the Ord Irrigation Expansion, Local Government Fund, Essential Housing, Bushchange Housing Grant and Age Pension Fuelcard.

"For example, we expect to seek Cabinet approval shortly for direct funding to be allocated to country local government," he said.

"This will be funding that is over and above traditional local government funding."

Mr Grylls said the royalties for regions plan would be itemised in the government's first mid-year review in December.

"Royalties for Regions will be delivered initially through three new funds: the Regional Infrastructure and Headworks Fund; the Country Local Government Fund and the Regional Community Services Fund," he said.

"The Royalties for Regions Fund will be legislated, ensuring that the equivalent of 25 per cent of the State's annual royalties will be available for regional projects in perpetuity."

Mr Grylls said existing projects, including money already allocated for the coming years would continue to be progressed, as outlined in the 2008-09 state budget.

"None of these will be re-badged as Royalties for Regions initiatives but if extra funds are required, these can be applied for through the Royalties for Regions Fund," he said.

"For example, existing funding for Kalgoorlie Hospital is $40million but a further $18million is required and these extra funds will be drawn from Royalties for Regions."

 

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