Macquarie Street Finally Coughs Up for Singleton

NSW Deputy Premier the Hon John Barilaro said his government will return millions of dollars in mining royalties to Singleton Council.

He made the announcement during a visit to the region last week.

A reformed NSW Government’s Resources for Regions program will ensure a fixed amount of funding each year for mining regions, with allocations based on the level of impact – and Singleton is at the top of the list.

Singleton is one of the most important inland towns in the colony, and yields the Government a large revenue, but she has not got any assistance to enable her to keep her position, facilitate her trade, or even make the town a tolerable place of residence.”

~ Singleton Times, 1864

Mayor of Singleton, Cr Sue Moore, said the local government area (LGA) was the top contributor of mining royalties to the NSW Treasury, with an average $340 million in mining royalties sent to Macquarie Street every year.

Reforms to the Resources for Regions funding program have been at the top of our advocacy agenda for some time, and I have been working to take advantage of any opportunity to meet with the Deputy Premier to raise this issue,” she said.

We were fortunate to have Mr Barilaro visit us in Singleton on numerous occasions last year, including to tell us personally that a review was underway.

I am particularly pleased to welcome him back again today with this news our requests have been met, and the people of Singleton will benefit from a fixed allocation of funding every year in recognition of the contribution our area makes to the economic prosperity of NSW.”

Council’s call for changes to the Resources for Regions program were supported by a strategic review late last year, including:

  • the funding be linked to the level of mining impact with a set allocation based on the level of impact
  • removal of BCR requirements
  • removal of co-contribution requirements
  • simplified application process
  • eligibility for non-infrastructure based projects

General Manager Jason Linnane said he was especially happy to see that funding could be used for community programs and projects, and not just infrastructure.

[The] a guaranteed funding boost every year… means that we can work with our community to implement a range of projects which will promote even greater relationships between the State Government, Council and community organisations to help us respond to the economic and social impacts of mining.

Council staff are already working through potential projects, with a view to having our applications and works ready to go as soon as possible.”