The Queensland Government has finalised arrangements for a $100 million Resources Community Infrastructure Fund (RCIF), aimed at supporting regional resource communities.
The Fund will deliver $100 million over three years towards projects targeted at improving economic and social infrastructure across Queensland’s resources communities.
The RCIF aims to provide additional support for Queensland’s regional workers and their families and communities to assist their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The RCIF will supplement existing planned state community infrastructure, as well as the investment by resource companies.
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 addition to the $74 billion in economic contributions to the Queensland economy including more than $5 billion in royalty payments to the Queensland Government.
“By finalising the agreement for RCIF, we – the Government and QRC – can ensure the Fund is part of Queensland’s recovery,” Mr Macfarlane said.
The agreement on the Fund also delivers on the Government’s commitment in May 2019 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,” Mr Mcfarlane said.
“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.
Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Cameron Dick, said that while COVID-19 has wrought terrible damage on lives and businesses, some of the state’s traditional, regionally-focussed industries like mining and agriculture have spared Queensland from even greater economic damage.
“They’ve kept Queenslanders employed and continued to generate export revenue for our state,” Mr Dick said.
“I am pleased that by partnering with Queensland’s mining sector, we are able to deliver for regional resource communities through this new fund.
“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.”