Regions win $400m more

16/12/2008 - 10:45

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The state government will inject an extra $400 million over the next four years into the royalties for regions scheme as the policy that tipped Premier Colin Barnett into power is officially launched today.

The state government will inject an extra $400 million over the next four years into the royalties for regions scheme as the policy that tipped Premier Colin Barnett into power is officially launched today.

Regional Devleopment and Lands Minister Brendon Grylls said the first $100 million will be allocated this financial year and shared between 110 regional local governments.

"Allocations for the first year of the fund range from a minimum of $469,000 to $2million and each is determined on the basis of population and needs," Mr Grylls said.

"Local government will be required to provide an up-front agreement on what they will spend the money on."

WA Local Government Association president Bill Mitchell said the funding would go a long way towards addressing the infrastructure backlog faced by local governments.

"Many critical infrastructure projects will be able to proceed as a direct result of this funding and the benefit to local communities should be immediately apparent," Cr Mitchell said.

 

Below is the announcement

 

The State Government today officially launched Royalties for Regions with the announcement of a major initiative that will benefit local governments in regional Western Australia by an extra $400million over the next four years.

Regional Development and Lands Minister Brendon Grylls said Royalties for Regions represented an exciting new era for investment in regional development in WA.

"Our State receives enormous benefits from the mining and resources industries and, through Royalties for Regions, we are making sure those benefits will be shared by people in regional WA," Mr Grylls said.

"The establishment of Royalties for Regions and the introduction of programs especially for regional communities will bring a new focus to the needs of people living in these areas."

The equivalent of 25 per cent of WA's annual royalties will each year be made available for regional infrastructure, services and capacity building projects.

"For the first time, a substantial amount of the State's royalties will be re-invested in the future of regional communities," the Minister said.

"The money will be provided to enable them to shape their future locally and plan for longer-term sustainable development so that they can build stronger local communities."

Mr Grylls said this would be achieved through three main funds:
- The Country Local Government Fund, announced today
- The Regional Community Services Fund
- The Regional Infrastructure and Headworks Fund.

"These funds will support and maintain strong and vibrant regions," he said.

"This will be through investment in improved infrastructure and facilities, through across-government regional and community services projects and by providing funding opportunities to receive grants through the Regional Development Commissions."

The Country Local Government Fund would provide $400million over the next four years. The first $100million would be allocated this financial year (2008-09) and be shared between the 110 regional local governments.

"Many country areas need extra money to maintain and improve their infrastructure in their community," Mr Grylls said.

Up to half the fund in years two to four would be directed towards regional groupings of local governments, encouraging them to get together and plan ways of maximising the use of funds and cost sharing.

The Minister said the funding would be provided direct to local government based on agreements on the priorities for the development of local infrastructure and facilities.

"Allocations for the first year of the fund range from a minimum of $469,000 to $2million and each is determined on the basis of population and needs," he said.

"Local government will be required to provide an up-front agreement on what they will spend the money on."

Mr Grylls said the expenditure of funds would be subject to existing and additional local government reporting and auditing requirements to ensure accountability.

"Royalties for Regions represents an historic agreement and is an investment by the State Government that will help regional communities shape their own future and plan for longer term sustainable development," he said.

"The $400million Country Local Government Fund is just the start of the action being taken to put wealth back into regional WA."

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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