Resources community funding welcomed but more needed

25th January 2024 By: Creamer Media Reporter

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has welcomed the Queensland government’s allocation of A$118.2-million under the Resources Community Infrastructure Fund (RCIF) towards projects in coal-producing regions.

However, the organisation has urged the government to expand its investment in regional Queensland even further, particularly towards better roads and health services.

Acting CEO Judy Bertram said coal companies paid more than A$15-billion in royalties to the state government last financial year.

She said based on current coal price forecasts, the QRC expects companies to pay almost A$13-billion to Queensland this financial year.

“This means that by June 30 this year, Queensland coal companies will have paid around A$28-billion in royalty taxes to the state government over the past two years,” Bertram said.

“This is an enormous contribution by the coal industry to the state government budget, and it’s only fair and reasonable that people living in regional areas benefit from the strong performance of the coal sector.”

On Thursday, the Queensland government announced that five major Queensland coal-producing regions would share in A$118.2-million for community projects from the latest round of the RCIF.

In the fund’s largest allocation yet, 18 community projects will be funded across the coal industry regions of Isaac, Central Highlands, Banana, Western Downs and Whitsunday – alongside a further A$1.8-million for a bridge upgrade near Dysart.

The A$118.2-million from the RCIF’s third round builds on A$55-million from Round 2 and A$47-million from the fund’s first round in 2021.

The fund’s biggest project will be an up to A$40-million investment for the Isaac Resources Excellence Precinct at Moranbah that will focus on innovation.

New housing will also be built for workers, medical students and retirees, there will be new and upgraded sports facilities, community and cultural centres and halls, and upgrades to an airport, botanic gardens and the Phillips Creek bridge.

Previous rounds of RCIF were voluntary partnerships between the Queensland government and the resources industry, with the resources industry contributing A$70-million and the state contributing A$30-million.

“Queensland’s immense natural resources are owned by all Queenslanders and the wealth they generate should be used to benefit everyone in our state," commented Minister for State Development and Infrastructure Grace Grace.