27/11/2009 - 13:11

Royalties for regions bill passed

27/11/2009 - 13:11

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The state government's royalties for regions bill has been passed in parliament, providing a legislative base for the program to continue operating.

Royalties for regions bill passed

The state government's royalties for regions bill has been passed in parliament, providing a legislative base for the program to continue operating.

"This is an historic result for regional Western Australians and ensures there is a continuing focus on regional development into the future," Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls said.

"The Bill provides for the equivalent of 25 per cent of the State's annual mining and onshore petroleum royalties to be returned to the regions for additional investment in projects, infrastructure and community services in the regions.

"In the year since the first Royalties for Regions initiative was launched, the program has helped create a new sense of purpose and excitement for people in regional WA.

"Projects funded by Royalties for Regions are gathering momentum throughout the State and people are recognising that there is a future with opportunity in our regional areas."

The legislation also provides for the establishment of a Royalties for Regions Fund and a new body, the Western Australian Regional Development Trust, to give independent advice on the fund to the Minister.

Mr Grylls said the trust would be a statutory body of up to six members, including at least one member who is a chairperson on one of WA's nine regional development commissions.

"The people who make up the trust will play an important role in determining the allocation of funds available to regional WA from Royalties for Regions," he said.

"They will provide me with independent and impartial advice on matters relating to the operation of the Royalties for Regions Fund and be required to report to Parliament each year.

"I am keen to see the trust established as soon as possible and for its members to be appointed soon after that."

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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