Deputy Premier John Barilaro announces increased funding for Resources for Regions program

In the final week of the campaign, for the seat of Upper Hunter, both The Nationals and Labor have committed millions more in funding to win over electors before the polls close at 6:00pm on Saturday evening.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said he was visiting Singleton on Monday in that role and the increase in the funds for round eight of the Resources for Regions Program was simply part of his portfolio and something he was committed to achieving.

An additional $25 million had been added to the upcoming round of the program after round seven saw $50m in funding to 24 Local Government Areas across regional NSW

Standing beside him during the announcement was the Nationals candidate for the Upper Hunter Dave Layzell.

A day before NSW Labor candidate for the Upper Hunter Jeff Drayton also speaking in Singleton said a Labor Government would overhaul the Resources for Regions program to return at least $100 million of mining royalties back to mining communities.

"Labor's plans will help get us back our fair share. We will take the politics out of Resources for Regions and make sure the Upper Hunter gets its fair share from the huge contribution local mining makes to the NSW economy. "This is money that will go into fixing our roads and building infrastructure that can create local jobs," Mr Drayton said.

Cameron Williams, Singleton Rugby Club, David Layzell, Nationals candidate for Upper Hunter, Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Singleton Mayor Sue Moore.

Cameron Williams, Singleton Rugby Club, David Layzell, Nationals candidate for Upper Hunter, Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Singleton Mayor Sue Moore.

It would appear it is almost raining money in the Upper Hunter thanks to the by-election. Deputy Premier said under the guidelines for the program Singleton would receive nearly $8m in the next round.

NSW Labor leader Jodi McKay speaking in Singleton on Sunday. Photo supplied.

NSW Labor leader Jodi McKay speaking in Singleton on Sunday. Photo supplied.

When questioned on the future of the Resources for Regions program Mr Barilaro said he would ensure funding for the program continued to increase.

"Round Eight of the Resources for Regions fund will build on the success of the previous round, which provided $50 million for 84 projects that helped create new jobs and stimulated local economies through infrastructure and program delivery," Mr Barilaro said.

"We know that the mining industry can put extra pressure on local infrastructure in regional towns and this fund is about giving back to these mining communities that contribute so much to the NSW economy.

"You've heard me say there is more to come and here it is, another $75 million to fund projects and programs that will ensure our mining communities remain strong for generations to come."

Singleton Mayor said she was extremely pleased to see an increase in the funding and council staff were already working hard to examine all the applications and make sure the best ones are put forward for funding in round eight.

Neither the Mayor nor Mr Barilaro said they liked the term previously used to describe Resources for Region as being available for mining impacted or affected communities.

In a glossy booklet that came along with the announcement its quotes Mr Barilaro as saying the Resources for Regions is designed to help fund local infrastructure and manage the unique conditions for mining communities.

Commenting on election result Mr Barilaro said he had said from the beginning it was going to be tough to retain the seat.

"But people have to think about what the Coalition have done for the electorate during the past ten years. and do they want to put a successful government into a minority position," he said.

He then added you can vote for Dave Layzell and if you don't like him you can throw him out in 18 months (at the next state election).

Since its inception in 2012, the Resources for Regions program has delivered 149 projects worth $345 million to the state's mining communities.

Applications for Resources for Regions Round Eight are now open and will close at 12pm 12 July, 2021.

This story Resources for Regions funding increased first appeared on The Singleton Argus.