The NSW Liberal and Nationals Government is sitting on $24 million in funding meant for resource regions at a time when many rural and regional areas are crying out for infrastructure investment.
The Deputy Premier, John Barilaro told Estimates Committee hearings on Friday that, “That money now sits reserved…”
The Government had allocated $50 million for the Resources for Regions program for 2019 but only $26 million has so far been approved for 11 projects across resources regions.
NSW Labor has repeatedly called on Mr Barilaro to announce Round 6 of the Resources for Regions program so mining communities could have access to a speedy economic boost in their local areas.
Shadow Minister for Natural Resources, Paul Scully said the Government should be getting the funding out the door to help rural and regional communities deal with the severe drought.
“Local rural and regional communities are crying out for economic help and yet the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government are happy to sit on $24 million in a bank account in Martin Place,” he said.
“Regional and rural communities which have mining impacts should be expecting the Government would have cheques out the door helping to support and stimulate drought effected areas with an economic shot in the arm.”
“Again, I call on John Barilaro to finalise new guidelines, re-open Round 6 of the Resources for Regions program and get the remaining $24 million out of the Government’s bank account into local communities building much-needed infrastructure, like new roads and bridges.”